IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams

  1. IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams

    The IRS continues to receive numerous phone calls from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS. Taxpayers are urged to contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or the IRS if they have any suspicions about a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and demanding payment. [ Editor’s Note: The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by telephone, letter, email, etc., to request personal or financial information, and also does not ask for Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), passwords, or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank, or other financial accounts.] IRS News Release IR-2014-81 provides detailed information on what taxpayers should do when they receive such suspicious calls and how they can be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure.

  2. Business Deductions Disallowed for Lack of Substantiation

    The taxpayer, an employee of a telecommunications company and a self-employed nutritional supplement salesperson, deducted expenses on Schedule C for car and truck, travel, meals, and entertainment allegedly relating to his sales business. (His travel costs as an employee were fully reimbursed by the telecommunications company.) Although the taxpayer kept a mileage record on his calendar, the documentation lacked specific information on how the mileage was related to his sales business or where he was on certain days. Additionally, his receipts to support his travel expenses didn’t show that he actually paid such amounts or that they related to his sales business. The taxpayer provided a spreadsheet as support for his claimed meals and entertainment expenses, noting “Interview/team training” as the business purpose for each entry. However, this contradicted the taxpayer’s admission that many of the meals were eaten alone. The Tax Court concluded that the records were too unreliable to be considered “adequate records” or “sufficient evidence corroborating the taxpayer’s own statement,” as required by IRC Sec. 274(d). Thus, most of these deductions were disallowed. Marcus O. Crawford, TC Memo 2015-156 (Tax Court).

  3. IRS Changes Form 1023-EZ Instructions

    Form 1023-EZ may be used by qualifying organizations to speed up the tax-exempt application process. The IRS has announced the Form 1023-EZ [Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code] instructions were changed on 8/4/14. Instructions downloaded prior to 8/4/14 will not reflect an important change to Part I, line 8, allowing officers, directors, and/or trustees to use the organization’s mailing address rather than their personal mailing address. The updated instructions for Form 1023-EZ are available at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1023ez.pdf