IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015

IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015

Identity theftphone scamsphishing and return preparer fraud: They are all on the IRS Dirty Dozen list of tax scams this year. Learn more about the Dirty Dozen in this YouTube video.

Review the details of each scam here.

Identity theftphone scamsphishing and return preparer fraud: They are all on the IRS Dirty Dozen list of tax scams this year. Learn more about the Dirty Dozen in this YouTube video.

Review the details of each scam here.

Education Credits–AOTC and LLC

Higher Education Credits

Your clients may qualify for either of two education tax credits if they paid for higher education for themselves or immediate family members. Both the American Opportunity Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) may reduce the amount of taxes they owe, but only the American Opportunity Credit is partially refundable. 

The AOTC is worth up to $2,500 per year for an eligible student. This credit applies for the first four years of higher education. Forty percent of the AOTC is refundable. The LLC is worth up to $2,000. There is no limit on the number of years that a taxpayer can claim the LLC for an eligible student.

Taxpayers must complete Form 8863, Education Credits, and file Form 1040 or 1040A to claim these credits. 

Note to Tax Pros: An institution of higher education school should provide your client Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, showing expenses paid for the year. The amounts shown on the form may be different than the amount your client actually paid. When figuring the credit, be sure to verify whether the client paid any additional qualified education expenses not shown on the form. Form 1098-T contains information needed to complete Form 8863.

Learn more by visiting the IRS education benefits and EITC Refundable Credits Web pages or reading Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

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Revised NYS Bulk Storage Regulations – Webinar Update

Update – Public Webinars on Revised New York State Bulk Storage Regulations  – Next Webinar February 1, 2016

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued new petroleum and chemical bulk storage regulations that became effective October 11, 2015.

DEC hosted a webinar on November 23, 2015 that provided an overview of the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations.  DEC hosted a second webinar on January 11, 2016 that focused on the requirements for Underground Storage Tanks regulated under 6 NYCRR Subpart 613-2.  A file of the presentation and a link to the recording of the webinar are now available on DEC’s Revised Bulk Storage Regulations Webinar Page. 

The third webinar in the series will be held on February 1, 2016 and will focus on the requirements for Underground Storage Tanks regulated under 6 NYCRR Subpart 613-3.  Details and login information are also available on DEC’s Bulk Storage Webinar Page

A Future webinar will focus on requirements on tanks regulated under Subpart 613-4.

Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance-IRS

 Remember to Update Computer Firewalls and Virus Protection

With the filing season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for basic computer safety and maintenance to secure your system and help prevent identity theft. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your client’s stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.  Your computer files and account information may also provide a treasure trove of information for thieves, which is why protecting your own computer and logging on to secure computer systems is so important. 

    • Be sure to protect electronic taxpayer information systems connected to the Internet with a barrier device (e.g., firewall, router or gateway) to prevent the unauthorized release of taxpayer data. 
    • Regularly update firewall, intrusion detection, anti-spyware, anti-adware, anti-virus software and security patches.
    • Monitor computer systems for unauthorized access by reviewing system logs.

Taxes. Security. Together — We all have a role to play in protecting taxpayer data.  For more information, visit the IRS identity protectionpage. 

Follow IRS guidelines for protecting taxpayer information. Online providers must report unauthorized disclosures within one business day. Resources for tax preparers

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Press Release – FAA Announces Small UAS (Drone) Registration Rule

The U.S. Department of Transportation‘s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras.

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Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft.  Under this rule, any owner of a small UAS who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016. Owners of any other UAS purchased for use as a model aircraft after December 21, 2015 must register before the first flight outdoors. Owners may use either the paper-based process or the new streamlined, web-based system.  Owners using the new streamlined web-based system must be at least 13 years old to register.

Owners may register through a web-based system at www.faa.gov/uas/registration

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Revised Bulk Storage Regulations – Public Webinars – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Update – Public Webinars on Revised New York State Bulk Storage Regulations

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued new petroleum and chemical bulk storage regulations that became effective October 11, 2015.

DEC hosted a webinar on November 23,2015 that provided an overview of the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations.  A file of the presentation and a link to the recording of the webinar are now available on DEC’s Revised Bulk Storage Regulations Webinar Page. 

The next webinar will be held on January 11, 2016 and will focus on the requirements for Underground Storage Tanks regulated under 6 NYCRR Subpart 613-2.  Details and login information are also available on DEC’s Bulk Storage Webinar Page

Future webinars will focus on requirements on tanks regulated under Subpart 613-3 and Subpart 613-4.

Laws Struggle to Keep Up as Hoverboards’ Popularity Soars – The New York Times

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By LAURA M. HOLSONNOV. 25, 2015

Self-balancing motorized boards have many names: hoverboards, Swagways, self-balancing scooters and, among the Star Trek crowd, personal transporters. But whatever they are called, they now have parents, lawmakers and others struggling to figure out how safe they are and how to regulate them because in most places the rules have not caught up with the new technology.

Read entire NYTIMES article.

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BY JEN CARLSON IN ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ON NOV 19, 2015 4:38 PM

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See also:  A Civil Liberties Lawyer Explains Why “Hoverboards” Are Illegal In NYC: Gothamist

http://gothamist.com/2015/11/19/hoverboard_overboard.php

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