A relatively small portion of tax accountants make heavy use of social media in their efforts to communicate with a wide public audience. The IRS, on the other hand, is seriously involved in almost every major social media platform:
- IRS2Go. Use this free mobile app to check your refund status, pay your tax, watch IRS YouTube videos and get IRS Tax Tips via email. You can download the app free from the Google Play Store for Android devices, or from the Apple App Store for Apple devices. IRS2Go is available in both English and Spanish.
- YouTube. The IRS offers dozens of video tax tips on a variety of topics. You can view them in English, Spanish or American Sign Language.
- Twitter. Get tax-related announcements and tips from @IRSnews.@IRStaxpros tweets news and guidance for tax professionals. Tweets from @IRSenEspanol have news and information in Spanish. The Taxpayer Advocate Service sends tweets from @YourVoiceAtIRS.@RecruitmentIRS provides updates for job seekers.
- Tumblr. Follow the IRS on Tumblr to access IRS tax tips, videos and podcasts. You can access Tumblr from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
- Facebook. The IRS Facebook pages provide news and information for taxpayers and tax return preparers. You can also connect with theTaxpayer Advocate Service.
- Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips. Get free tax filing tips via e-mail inEnglish or Spanish. For the latest word on taxes from the IRS, check out our e-news subscriptions.
“turbo tax evasion” gains popularity
As the popularity of online self-prepared income tax filing grows – now approaching 50% of all tax filers – so does the incidence of tax evasion. Some of it is intentional effort to avoid paying taxes, other times just misunderstanding of complex tax laws.
Tax practitioners like me are gradually seeing a shift of our work from income tax filing to audit representation. In my case that often involves financial planning for the financial stress related to tax collection actions.
When a taxpayer has no reasonable hope of paying the full amount of past taxes due or when it makes sense to borrow money from another source to pay taxes, sometimes it makes sense to settle the matter with an Offer in Compromise in order to get rid of the old debt and make a fresh financial start. I recently asked a group of accountants for tips in preparing an Offer in Compromise and this blog post is a compilation of ten tips that were offered:
1. The IRS pre-qualification calculator tool is excellent.
2. Download the latest Form 656 booklet that is updated almost every year. If you don’t use the latest forms, the offer will be rejected.
3. Worked out well with over $100,000 in debt forgiven.
4. More difficult to justify or get approved for lower dollar amounts.
5. It is not as easy as it used to be.
6. The whole process took under 3 months.
7. The process is very time-consuming and offers are not easily granted these days.
8. Make sure the client realizes that this is full disclosure.
9. Overestimate the time it will take and get a full retainer up front.
10. Be aware that clients who don’t pay their taxes often don’t pay their accountants either.