December 10, 2018
Unfortunately, cyber scammers never take a vacation. In fact, the IRS has issued a warning of a surge in fraudulent emails that bait potential phishing victims with fake tax transcripts. Links within these emails lead recipients to documents containing the well-known malware, Emotet.
Fraudulent emails will look as if they are coming from the IRS and specific banks and financial institutions. These emails usually have an attachment labeled "Tax Account Transcript" or something similar with a subject line that uses some variation of the phrase "Tax Transcript." Be warned that scammers will likely also use other subject line verbiage.
This season’s scam targets not only individual taxpayers but businesses as well. If an employee opens the malware, it can spread through a company’s network requiring a time-consuming and expensive fix. Employers should be sure to educate employees on this newest scam and offer a refresher course on how to spot fraudulent emails.
Remember, the IRS never sends unsolicited emails or sensitive information via email. If you think that you have received a malicious email, do not click on the message. Instead, forward the potential fraudulent email to firstname.lastname@example.org and then promptly delete it. If you receive such an email at work, do not interact with it and alert your IT department immediately.
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The combination of running a business and your life and preparing for tax time can drive some people into a slight panic. But no need to get stressed if you are prepared. Now is the time to start organizing all documents required to file your tax return.
The weekend February 23-25, 2019, presents a tax-saving opportunity for those seeking to prepare for the storms that accompany spring (and summer, and fall) in North Alabama. Before the hail, tornadoes, straight-line wind, microbursts, and other meteorological mayhem commences, Alabama Department of Revenue is holding its seventh annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. Items like weather radios, duct tape, tarps, and flashlights are included in this holiday. But also listed are some items that may also prove useful for another season - football season!
In general, meals provided to employees are considered to be income to the employee and must be reported on their W-2. The exception to this is if the meal is provided for the employer's convenience. But what does this actually mean? The IRS recently issued guidance on when these meals are or are not considered income. Like most things related to the IRS, facts and circumstances of each individual case need to considered. However, there are some general guidelines which are summarized below.