IRS TAX INFO

Contact the IRS

All of your questions about new tax laws can be answered by visiting the IRS website at: www.IRS.gov

Want to check the status of your refund?

Visit the IRS website and click on "Where's My Refund" enter the expected amount exactly as it was predicted as well as your social security number and filing status which will either be: Single, Married filing separate, Married filing joint or Head of Household.

TIPS IF YOU GET A LETTER FROM THE IRS

1. Don’t panic. Read the entire letter carefully.

2. Forward a copy to TNTCA for review. 

3. Compare it with that years tax return.

4. Only reply to the IRS (yourself) if necessary. 

5. If a response is required, do so in a timely manner

6. Remember... Don’t call them, it raises suspicion. 

7. Keep a copy of the letter. with your tax documents. 

IRS FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON IRS.GOV

Q: Why are these changes being made?

A: The new withholding tables are needed to reflect the changes in tax rates and tax brackets, increased standard deduction and repeal of personal exemptions that were included in the new tax reform law signed in December. The withholding guidance issued today is for employers to make changes to their payroll systems and is designed to work with existing W-4s that employees have on file.

Q: How soon will people see the changes in their paychecks?

A: Employees should begin to see withholding changes in their checks in February. The exact timing depends on when their employer can make the change and how often they are paid. It typically takes payroll providers and employers about a month to update withholding changes on their systems.

Q: Will employees need to take any action to get the new withholding rates?

A: No.  Payroll changes required each year are made by employers and their payroll providers, so employees are not required to take any extra steps.  However, employees should review their withholding to make sure that it is accurate.  IRS will be releasing a new calculator and Form W-4 soon, to help employees ensure withholding is accurate.

Q: What is a withholding table?

A: A withholding table shows payroll service providers and employers how much tax to withhold from employee paychecks, given each employee’s wages, marital status, and the number of withholding allowances they claim.

Q: What is a Form W-4?

A: This is an IRS form that employees provide to their employers, to determine the amount of federal income tax to withhold from the employees’ paychecks. The form helps employees adjust withholding based on their personal circumstances, such as whether they have children or a spouse who is also working. The IRS always recommends employees check their withholding any time their personal or financial information changes.

Q: Will people need to fill out a new W-4 form right now?

A: No, the new withholding tables are designed to minimize taxpayer burden as much as possible and will work with the Forms W-4 that workers have already filed with their employers to claim withholding allowances. The IRS is working on revising the Form W-4 to more fully reflect the new law and provide taxpayers information to determine whether they need to adjust their withholding.

Q: Is the IRS working on a new Form W-4 to reflect the new tax law?

A: Yes. The IRS continues to work on more detailed withholding information, which will be available soon in Publication 15 and related publications. In addition, the IRS is working on revising the Form W-4 to more fully reflect the new law and providing taxpayers information to determine whether they need to adjust their withholding. The IRS is also revising the withholding tax calculator on IRS.gov to help employees who wish to update their withholding in response to the new law or other changes in their personal circumstances in 2018. The IRS anticipates this calculator should be available by the end of February.

Q: Should people check their withholding after the new 2018 Form W-4 and the withholding calculator are available?

A: Yes. It’s always a good idea for people to check their withholding status. The IRS encourages all taxpayers to check their withholding when the new information is available in February. The IRS will help educate taxpayers about the new withholding guidelines and the calculator. The effort will be designed to help workers ensure that they are not having too much or too little tax taken out of their pay.

Q: Are some taxpayers at risk of being under-withheld on their taxes with the changes to the withholding tables?

A: Some people have more complicated tax situations and face the possibility of being under-withheld. For example, people who itemize their deductions, couples with multiple jobs or individuals with more than one job a year will be encouraged to review their tax situations. The IRS will be encouraging people – particularly those with more than one income in their household—to check their withholding. The IRS is updating the 2018 Form W-4 and the IRS.gov withholding calculator to help with this process.

Q: Are many people under-withheld on their taxes?

A: Most people are over-withheld on their taxes, meaning that more taxes are held out of their paychecks than what they owe.

Q: Will the IRS be making further changes to Form W-4 in 2019?

A: In 2019, the IRS anticipates making further changes involving withholding. The IRS will work with the business and payroll community to encourage workers to file new Forms W-4 next year and share information on changes in the new tax law that impact withholding.

NEVER GIVE YOUR PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION TO SOMEONE YOU DON'T KNOW OR TRUST

Scams Targeting Taxpayers

IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scams

A sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be IRS employees, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. 

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a gift card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Some thieves have used video relay services (VRS) to try to scamdeaf and hard of hearing individuals. Taxpayers are urged not trust calls just because they are made through VRS, as interpreters don’t screen calls for validity. For details see the IRS video: Tax Scams via Video Relay Service

Limited English Proficiency victims are often approached in their native language, threatened with deportation, police arrest and license revocation, among other things. IRS urges all taxpayers caution before paying unexpected tax bills. Please see: IRS Alerts Taxpayers with Limited English Proficiency of Ongoing Phone Scams. Note that the IRS doesn't:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Scams Targeting Tax Professionals

Increasingly, tax professionals are being targeted by identity thieves. These criminals – many of them sophisticated, organized syndicates - are redoubling their efforts to gather personal data to file fraudulent federal and state income tax returns. The Security Summit has a campaign aimed at tax professionals: Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself.

Recent scams targeting the tax professional community include:

Tax professionals should review Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, A Guide for Your Business, which provides a checklist to help safeguard information and enhance security.

See also: Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals.

HOW TO KNOW IF IT'S REALLY THE IRS CALLING OR KNOCKING

Many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials – in person, over the telephone and via email. Don’t get scammed. We want you to understand how and when the IRS contacts taxpayers and help you determine whether a contact you may have received is truly from an IRS employee.

The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

However, there are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations.

Even then, taxpayers will generally first receive several letters (called “notices”) from the IRS in the mail.

Note that the IRS does not:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
     
  • Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. You should also be advised of your rights as a taxpayer.
     
  • Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS also cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.

If you owe taxes:

The IRS instructs taxpayers to make payments to the “United States Treasury.” The IRS provides specific guidelines on how you can make a tax payment at irs.gov/payments.

Here is what the IRS will do:

If an IRS representative visits you, he or she will always provide two forms of official credentials called a pocket commission and a HSPD-12 card. HSPD-12 is a government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification for federal employees and contractors. You have the right to see these credentials. And if you would like to verify information on the representative’s HSPD-12 card, the representative will provide you with a dedicated IRS telephone number for verifying the information and confirming their identity.

Collection

IRS collection employees may call or come to a home or business unannounced to collect a tax debt. They will not demand that you make an immediate payment to a source other than the U.S. Treasury.

Learn more about the IRS revenue officers’ collection work.

The IRS can assign certain cases to private debt collectors but only after giving the taxpayer and his or her representative, if one is appointed, written notice. Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card or gift card. Taxpayers can learn about the IRS payment options on IRS.gov/payments. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to the IRS, not the private collection agency. 

Learn more about how to know if it’s really an IRS Private Debt Collector.

Audits

IRS employees conducting audits may call taxpayers to set up appointments or to discuss items with the taxpayers, but not without having first attempted to notify them by mail. After mailing an official notification of an audit, an auditor/tax examiner may call to discuss items pertaining to the audit. 

Learn more about the IRS audit process.

Criminal Investigations

IRS criminal investigators may visit a taxpayer’s home or business unannounced while conducting an investigation. However, these are federal law enforcement agents and they will not demand any sort of payment. 

Learn more about the What Criminal Investigation Does and How Criminal Investigations are Initiated.

Beware of Impersonations

Scams take many shapes and forms, such as phone calls, letters and emails. Many IRS impersonators use threats to intimidate and bully people into paying a fabricated tax bill. They may even threaten to arrest or deport their would-be victim if the victim doesn’t comply.

For a comprehensive listing of recent tax scams and consumer alerts, visit Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts.

Know Who to Contact

  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report a phone scam. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
     
  • Report phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
     
  • Report an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or an IRS-related component like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.