[OSSSA218] Fwd: IRS Headliners & Event Updates for March

Karen PARK karen.park at state.or.us
Wed Mar 16 07:29:19 PDT 2011


Karen Park

Oregon State Social Security Coordinator
Oregon PERS
503 603-7633
karen.park at state.or.us


Please note my office hours this week are Monday thru Thursday 6 am to 2:30 pm

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: All information in this email, including attachments, is approved solely for delivery to and authorized use by intended recipients. Use, dissemination, distribution, or reproduction of this message and/or any of its attachments by unintended recipients is not authorized and may be unlawful. If  you are not an intended recipient of this message or an authorized assistant to an intended recipient, please notify the sender by replying to this message and then delete it from your system. 

>>> "Marshall KayDel D" <KayDel.Marshall at irs.gov> 3/15/2011 4:20 PM >>>

Dear Business Organization:
Here are the latest IRS News Releases and Headliners to distribute to your small business members.  I hope that the information will be helpful and we encourage publication in your association's magazines, newsletters, email distributions and/or website.  
Below are summaries and links to the most recent headliners and news releases your members might be interested in.  The title and summary are designed to give you a brief overview of the article's content -- the link to the full article is at the end of each summary. I encourage you to use any or all of these in newsletters or emails to your members, or on your web site. 
If someone else in your organization is a more appropriate contact point for these types of emails, please let me know.  And if you do not want to receive future emails like this one, please reply and request your name be removed.
KayDel Marshall 
Senior Stakeholder Liaison
Small Business & Self-Employed C/L/D
100 S.W. Main Street, Suite 1200
Portland, Oregon 97204
Got Tax Questions?  Watch Videos & Get Answers on the IRS Video Portal 
Announcements & Upcoming Events:
FREE IRS Webinar - Business Taxes for the Self-Employed: The Basics http://www.visualwebcaster.com/IRS/77024/reg.asp?id=77024
March 29 -- 11 a.m. Pacific/noon Mountain
Go to the link above to register.
Learn about:
§         Reporting profit or loss from a business or profession 
§         Self employment tax and estimated tax payments 
§         Schedule C and C-EZ 
§         Deducting business expenses 
§         Husband and wife businesses 
§         Recordkeeping 
Oregon Employer Council Statewide Conference for Business, April 4 & 5, 2011, Salishan Resort.
Web link to information and registration:  http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/OEC/index.shtml
FREE IRS Webinar - Easy, Low Cost Ways to Start Your Small Business Retirement Plan
April 7 – 11:00 a.m. Pacific
Wondering which retirement plan will work for your small business? 
Watch this FREE webinar to learn about easy, low cost ways to start a small business retirement plan. Go to the link above to register.
Better Business Bureau Offers “Secure Your ID” Day  
Saturday, April 16, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Gather up unwanted documents and old cell phones, and take advantage of this FREE shredding service. Drive up and drop off up to three (3) grocery bags or boxes of documents to be securely shredded on-the-spot! No cardboard or three-ring binders please.  
BBB Secure Your ID Day brought to you by Unitus Community Credit Union - Beaverton Branch
10580 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton, Ore. 97005 
Gresham Small Business Fair, April 27, 2011, Mt. Hood Community College.  Contact Gerri Raisanen at the Small Business Development Center, 503-491-7658 or email Gerri.Raisanen at mhcc.edu. 
OAME 23rd Annual Trade Show & Luncheon Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at the Oregon Convention Center in Hall D.  The tradeshow will host more than 120 small and large businesses, state, county and federal government agencies and business development resources to help minority, women and emerging small businesses grow.  For registration, exhibit and luncheon information, and reservations, contact the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME) at 503-249-7744 or at www.oame.org.  Tradeshow admission is free and luncheon tickets are $65 per person (for more information please visit Luncheon Information).  
A Silent Auction will be held during Conference & Trade Show.

Program outline:
Trade Show 10:00AM - 3:00PM
Reception 11:30AM - 12:00PM
Lunch 12:00PM - 1:30PM (Trade Show closed during luncheon)

Oregon Small Business Forum August 23, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon at the Oregon Association for Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME), 4134 N.Vancouver, Portland, Oregon.  The focus area topic chosen for this FREE August Forum is, "Knowing HR Compliance Issues to Stay Out of Trouble,"  including such issues as BOLI requirements, Benefits Compliance, Law Changes, and Employee vs. Independent Contractor.  As always, the focus area topic is followed by an informal roundtable discussion where the agencies present will have an opportunity to explain the services and products they have available to enhance the success of small business in Oregon.  Mark your calendars now to reserve this date.

Oregon Small Business Fair, September 24, 2011, Ambridge Event Center, 1333 NE MLK Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97232.  NOTE: Venue has changed/No longer at Oregon Convention Center.    This is a FREE event for new and start up small business with exhibitor booths and four workshops each hour throughout the day. For exhibitor or other information, contact Linda.E.Repp at state.or.us.  

Mercy Corps Northwest  has several small business trainings coming up.  Check at  it out at:   http://www.mercycorpsnw.org/what-we-do/classes-and-events/
IRS Updates & News Releases:
Health Insurance Tax Breaks for the Self-Employed 
You may be able to deduct premiums paid for medical and dental insurance and qualified long-term care insurance for you, your spouse, and your dependents if you are one of the following: 
§         A self-employed individual with a net profit reported on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business, Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), Net Profit From Business, or Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming. 
§         A partner with net earnings from self-employment reported on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065), Partner's Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc., box 14, code A. 
§         A shareholder owning more than 2% of the outstanding stock of an S corporation with wages from the corporation reported on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. 
The insurance plan must be established under your business.  See the full article for more details.
IRS Announces New Effort to Help Struggling Taxpayers Get a Fresh Start; Major Changes Made to Lien Process
In its latest effort to help struggling taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced a series of new steps to help people get a fresh start with their tax liabilities.  The goal is to help individuals and small businesses meet their tax obligations, without adding unnecessary burden to taxpayers. Specifically, the IRS is announcing new policies and programs to help taxpayers pay back taxes and avoid tax liens.  
“We are making fundamental changes to our lien system and other collection tools that will help taxpayers and give them a fresh start,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “These steps are good for people facing tough times, and they reflect a responsible approach for the tax system.”
IRS is making important changes to its lien filing practices that will lessen the negative impact on taxpayers.  The IRS will also make streamlined Installment Agreements available to more small businesses. The payment program will raise the dollar limit to allow additional small businesses to participate.  Small businesses with $25,000 or less in unpaid tax can participate. Currently, only small businesses with under $10,000 in liabilities can participate. Small businesses will have 24 months to pay.  The streamlined Installment Agreements will be available for small businesses that file either as an individual or as a business. Small businesses with an unpaid assessment balance greater than $25,000 would qualify for the streamlined Installment Agreement if they pay down the balance to $25,000 or less.  Small businesses will need to enroll in a Direct Debit Installment Agreement to participate.
The IRS is also expanding a new streamlined Offer in Compromise (OIC) program to cover a larger group of struggling taxpayers.  This streamlined OIC is being expanded to allow taxpayers with annual incomes up to $100,000 to participate. In addition, participants must have tax liability of less than $50,000, doubling the current limit of $25,000 or less.  OICs are subject to acceptance based on legal requirements.
IRS Holds Saturday Open House on March 26 to Help Taxpayers
Nearly 100 IRS offices will be open on Saturday, March 26, to help taxpayers. The location of participating offices is listed on IRS.gov.
"We are opening our doors on these Saturdays to help taxpayers who may not have a chance to seek assistance during the work week," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "If taxpayers need help preparing their tax returns or have an account question, we encourage them to visit one of our open houses." 
On Saturday, March 26, the IRS offices will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. IRS staff will be on site to help taxpayers work through issues. More than 35,000 taxpayers attended similar events last year resolving over 95 percent of their issues.  During the open-house hours, IRS personnel will be available to provide services such as tax return preparation, assist with account questions and help with a variety of other issues. IRS offices in 10 locations will also offer free seminars designed to provide information on new tax laws affecting federal tax returns and detail other services provided by the IRS.
More Taxpayers Are Filing From Home in 2011, Free File Options Abound
Almost 19 million tax returns have been filed with the IRS from home computers so far this year, an increase of almost 6 percent compared to the number of returns from the same time last year.  IRS reminds taxpayers that everyone can use Free File to prepare and e-file their tax returns for free, either by using brand name software or Free File Fillable Forms, which is the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Individuals or families with 2010 adjusted gross incomes of $58,000 or less can use Free File software. Using Free File Fillable Forms has no income restrictions.  Free File software is a product of a public-private partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, LLC. The Alliance is a consortium of approximately 20 tax software providers who make versions of their products available exclusively on line. All Free File members must meet certain security requirements and use the latest in encryption technology to protect taxpayers’ information.
Don’t be Scammed by Fake IRS Communications
The IRS receives thousands of reports each year from taxpayers who receive suspicious emails, phone calls, faxes or notices claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Many of these scams fraudulently use the Internal Revenue Service name or logo as a lure to make the communication more authentic and enticing. The goal of these scams – known as phishing – is to trick you into revealing personal and financial information. The scammers can then use that information – like your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers – to commit identity theft or steal your money.  See the full article for five things the IRS wants you to know about phishing scams.
IRS Debunks Frivolous Tax Arguments
The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2011 version of its discussion and rebuttal of many of the more common frivolous arguments made by individuals and groups that oppose compliance with federal tax laws.  Anyone who contemplates arguing on legal grounds against paying their fair share of taxes should first read the 84-page document, The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments.  The document explains many of the common frivolous arguments made in recent years and it describes the legal responses that refute these claims. It will help taxpayers avoid wasting their time and money with frivolous arguments and incurring penalties.  Congress in 2006 increased the amount of the penalty for frivolous tax returns from $500 to $5,000. The increased penalty amount applies when a person submits a tax return or other specified submission, and any portion of the submission is based on a position the IRS identifies as frivolous.
Desktop Calendar Tool
Install the IRS Calendar Connector and access Important Tax Dates for Small Businesses right from your desktop, even when you're offline. As new events are added, they will be automatically updated via the desktop tool.  This customizable tool allows you to specify what types of events you wish to view (general, employer, excise, or all) and how you want them displayed (by day, week or month).
Install the IRS Calendar Connector
IRS Issues Information on 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative in Eight Foreign Languages
The IRS has made available information in eight foreign languages about the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) for those taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts. The agency took this step to reach taxpayers whose primary language may not be English.  The IRS is offering people with undisclosed income from offshore accounts an opportunity to participate in a new, voluntary disclosure initiative to get current on their tax returns. The 2011 OVDI will be available only through Aug. 31, 2011.  The news release, announcing the agency’s terms for its offshore voluntary disclosure initiative was translated into Chinese ( Traditional and Simplified), Farsi, German, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
More Tax Refunds Paid, IRS Reminds Filers about Savings Bond Option
The IRS is reminding those who haven’t filed their tax returns that they can receive their refunds in the form of savings bonds, payments to retirement accounts, mutual funds, as well as in the form of cash directly deposited to a checking or savings account.  By March 4, the IRS had issued more than 52 million refunds worth $161 billion for an average refund of $3,070.

For tax year 2010 returns, there are new savings bond options. Last year, if the taxpayer chose to receive a savings bond as part of the refund, it could only be issued in the taxpayers’ name. This year, taxpayers can designate anyone to receive a savings bond and also designate the co-owner or beneficiary. Also a new section was added to Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases), for entering savings bond information so that taxpayers no longer need to enter a pre-specified routing number. Instead, taxpayers will enter the bond owner’s name. The savings bonds will be mailed to the taxpayer or the person designated on the form.
IRS Releases 2010 Data Book
The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2010 IRS Data Book, an annual snapshot of agency activities for the fiscal year. The report describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2009, to Sept. 30, 2010, and includes information about returns filed, tax collections, enforcement and taxpayer assistance, as well as the IRS budget and workforce.
Recent Articles from e-News for Small Businesses
IRS stops mailing some tax forms
Employers will no longer get Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return and other business forms in the mail. 
All IRS forms, schedules and related instructions are available on IRS.gov.   
2011 automobile depreciation deduction limits
Revenue Procedure 2011-21 provides the limitations on depreciation deductions for cars first placed in service during 2011. 
Retirement news for small businesses
The 2011 winter edition of Retirement News for Employers has information on pre-approved retirement plans, fixing common plan mistakes and more. 
Recent IRS announcements
Tax Tip 2011-36 Get Credit for Your Retirement Savings Contributions 
IR-2011-21 IRS Has $1.1 Billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2007 Income Tax Return 
Subscribe to e-News for Small Businesses
If you would like to receive e-News for Small Businesses, please visit this link to subscribe: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/content/0,,id=154826,00.html
Recommend e-News for Small Businesses
If you already receive e-News for Small Businesses, you can share it with a business acquaintance, colleague or employee. Just forward this link to them to view a sample edition and subscribe.
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