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The IRS is advocating for strong security to safeguard your identity.  There are many scammers trying to get your information by impersonating IRS workers on the phone.  Remember, the IRS won’t make aggressive phone calls that threaten arrest or prison.  They are also trying to obtain your information through your computer by phishing attempts.  The best defense is to use antivirus software on all your electronic devises and have strong passwords.  Passwords that are a combination of numbers and letters or a longer phrase helps thwart sophisticated thieves.  Another way to protect yourself is by filing early since these thieves try to file a phony return before you can get your return filed.

The IRS has been focusing more attention on shareholders of S corporations.  The IRS ‘s auditors have been looking to be sure that owners of these S corporations are not deducting losses above their basis or loans made to the corp.  The IRS knows that compliance has been lacking and is increasing audits and enforcement to deter these excess deductions.

January 31St is the date that W-2’s must be sent out by employers.  It is also the date when 1099’s must be sent out to nonemployees.  Next year the 1099’s will be changed to a new form, 1099-NEC, for anyone with nonemployee compensation over $600.

If you are expecting an income tax refund this year you can monitor the status of your refund by going to “Where’s My Refund” at IRS.gov.  “Where’s My Refund” includes a tracker that displays progress through three stages: Return Received, Return Approved and Refund Sent.  Information will generally be available 24 hours after the IRS receives your return.  When the IRS processes a tax return and approves the refund taxpayers can see their expected refund date.  You can also call the IRS (800-829-4477) to check on a refund when it has been more than 21 days since you E-filed or more than six weeks since the return was mailed.