Filing season tips for employers and employees
Read and be aware of the IRS-identified Dirty Dozen tax schemes
Identity theft remains at the top of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen tax scheme list for 2019. Despite a steep drop in tax-related ID theft in recent years, the IRS last week warned taxpayers that the scam remains serious enough to earn a spot on the agency’s annual list of scams.
The IRS cautions individuals to protect their personal data by not routinely carrying a Social Security card and make sure tax records are secure.
When calling the IRS, be ready to verify identity
IRS phone assisters take great care to only discuss personal information with the taxpayer or someone the taxpayer authorizes to speak on their behalf. To avoid having to call back, the IRS reminds taxpayers to have ready:
- Social Security numbers and birth dates for those who were named on the tax return.
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number letter if the taxpayer has one instead of an SSN.
- Their filing status: single, head of household, married filing joint or married filing separately.
- The prior-year tax return. Telephone assistors may need to verify taxpayer identity with information from the return before answering certain questions.
- A copy of the tax return in question.
- Any IRS letters or notices received by the taxpayer.
Report health care coverage on 2018 tax return
Individuals completing their 2018 tax returns this year must complete the lines related to health care. For tax year 2018, taxpayers need to:
- report full-year health coverage.
- claim a coverage exemption, or
- report and make a shared responsibility payment for everyone on the tax return.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the shared responsibility payment is reduced to zero for tax year 2019 and all subsequent years