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The Southbourne Tax Group

The Southbourne Tax Group: 5 surprising things you can deduct from your income taxes

“Can I deduct this?” When Americans sit down to fill out their income-tax forms on or before the April 15 deadline, that’s the question they’ll likely ask the most.

 

They may be shocked by how often the answer is “yes,” and the sheer variety of expenses they can deduct. Most people know that business-related items are usually tax deductible — no matter how odd. That could include body oil for a masseuse or professional body builder, says Dave Du Val, vice president of customer advocacy at TaxAudit.com, which is based in Sacramento, Calif. Ditto, free beer used for a sales promotion. But a recent survey showed that only 51% of more than 1,000 people surveyed understood relatively basic questions about their income taxes, and the estimated average $2,840 tax refund for 2017 likely does not include the refunds that people did not know they could claim.

 

Additional resources for business accounting tips are available here.

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The Southbourne Tax Group: How To Recognize the Signs of Tax Identity Theft

Tax filing season is upon us. Soon you will be filing your paperwork and perhaps receiving a nice check — unless thieves file a return in your name first and falsely claim your refund.

 

 

Unfortunately, if a thief has your Social Security number and other relevant information, tax identity theft is very hard to prevent. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst for Bankrate.com, notes that "somebody could have your Social Security number and they could have been sitting on it for a while... you would have no idea until they go and file a bogus tax return under your Social Security number. You only find out at the point where your legitimate return gets rejected."

 

Additional resources for business accounting tips are available here.

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The Southbourne Tax Group: 7 Tips For Preventing Invoice Fraud

 

The Accounts Payable department is a prime target for fraud. Criminals looking to exploit your business take advantage of AP departments buried in paperwork to submit phony invoices and hope they’ll slip by as legitimate.

 

A single fraudulent invoice might not impact your company too much. However, over time invoice fraud can become quite a costly problem. Foiling invoice fraud is often frustrating, but implementing these tips will significantly reduce the risk of your company falling victim.

 

Additional resources for business accounting tips are available here.

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The Southbourne Tax Group: Tips - Against Tax Refund Fraud

A survey conducted by the data security and identity protection firm found more than half of Americans aren’t worried about tax fraud, despite federal reports showing identity thieves filed 787,000 fraudulent returns in 2016, which adds up to more than $4 billion in fraud.

 

The survey also found that only 35% of taxpayers ask their preparers to use two-factor authentication (which is stronger than a single password) to protect their information. On top of that, only 18% use an encrypted USB drive to save tax documents that contain sensitive information. When it comes to choosing a tax preparer, 50% of respondents said they chose their tax preparers online, didn’t screen them beforehand or weren’t sure how to evaluate a tax preparer at all. CyberScout said this puts consumers at risk of getting scammed. Finally, more than half (51%) of taxpayers expecting refund checks in the mail don’t use a locked mailbox.

 

Additional resources for business accounting tips are available here.

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The Southbourne Tax Group: Adjustments After Nuptials - Tax Tips!

June had the reputation as being THE wedding month of the year and flowers were everywhere. Now it seems like wedding season goes from early spring to late summer. Whether they’re traditional with a bunch of flowers or have a Harry Potter theme, weddings strive to be a happy occasion for all parties involved and guests invited. They can also, however, be quite stressful! Between trying to plan a wedding, staying within budget, finding the perfect dress and finalizing plans, it can be an overwhelming task! Not to mention that two people’s lives are going to change, so it’s understandable that a few things might fall to the wayside.

 

A new name can be exciting, but keep in mind that for tax purposes, your name, social security number and tax return all have to match. Therefore, take a few minutes to report your new name to the Social Security Administration and file a Form SS-5. Make sure you have a copy of your driver’s license or passport and your marriage certificate because you’ll

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The Southbourne Tax Group: Red Flags for Audits

The IRS at times seems like a living, breathing entity that’s often the source of bad dreams and stress. With all their rules, regulations, deadlines and forms, the IRS can be a little daunting, and nothing is scarier than the word audit. Often we are asked what are the chances of being audited, how the IRS chooses people to audit, and if whatever change they make in their life will put them on the radar of the IRS. These are all logical questions and completely reasonable to ask.

 

Unfortunately, the IRS chooses people at random for auditing, but on the other hand, there are some things that can tip the IRS off into auditing you. We’ve compiled a list of things that can tip off the IRS in no particular order that act as red flags so to speak.

 

-Not reporting all your income

 

-Breaking the rules of foreign accounts

 

-Burring lines on business expenses

 

-Earning more than $200,000

 

-Taking large charitable deductions

 

-Taking an early payout from an IRA or 401k

 

 

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The Southbourne Tax Group: How to Protect Your Identity and Assets

Tax Fraud Awareness

 

The IRS, taxpayers and tax preparers share a common enemy: identity thieves. We all have a part to play in the fight against tax-related identity theft. Your role starts by learning the mechanics and warning signs. From there, taxpayers can take proactive steps to protect their data online and at home.

 

Understand How Tax Fraud Happens

 

In addition to refund fraud, thieves may use stolen personal information to access existing bank accounts and withdraw funds — or open new ones without the taxpayer’s knowledge. Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and their ploys more complex, making identity theft harder to detect.

 

Additional resources for business accounting tips are available here

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The Southbourne Tax Group: Educational Tax Tips

I’m sure growing up you heard your parents say that education was the key to success. Whether that meant going to college, vocational school or having an internship or apprenticeship, education was always the answer for good, stable futures. However, schooling at all levels can be rather expensive. There’s crayons, pencils and notebooks to buy, new clothes to buy, tuition to pay for, paying for room and board and even meal plans. It can be quite expensive and adds up really quick, but surprisingly enough, there are tax benefits for knowledge! So to add to your knowledge are some tax tips to keep in mind. As they say, knowledge is power…and at times financially beneficial!

 

First and foremost is the easiest tip that probably everyone knows about; tax free weekend. In Virginia, this year (2016) tax free weekend was August 5 through August 7. It’s a three-day event where there is no sales tax on qualified items such as most school supplies, clothing and shoes, and even things like firs

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The Southbourne Tax Group: Fraud prevention – 2017 predictions

Challenges and Opportunities

 

The Paypers has invited various thought leaders to share their views on 2017 predictions regarding security threats and fraud management solutions

 

Monica Eaton-Cardone, Global Risk Technologies: Criminal fraud, in the form of unauthorised transactions, will remain an ever-present threat

 

Criminal fraud, in the form of unauthorised transactions, will remain an ever-present threat. Fortunately, though, technologies have made it easier to mitigate this type of fraud. The threat will continue, but it is a manageable concern. Conversely, another type of fraud continues to go unmitigated. Friendly fraud, which is unwarranted or illegitimate chargebacks, is growing at an alarming rate—as much as 50% annually in certain regions and industries. To date, this threat has remained relatively unmitigated.

 

Additional resources for business accounting tips are available here

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The Southbourne Tax Group: IRS Making Strides in Detecting Fraudulent Tax Returns

The IRS has improved its identification of fraudulent tax returns that involve identity theft, but the agency needs to be more accurate in its identity theft estimates, according to a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

 

TIGTA performed an audit to determine how effective the IRS is at detecting and preventing identity theft. The watchdog also looked at how the IRS is measuring undetected identity theft and coordinating identity theft information with other agencies and tax industry partners.

 

TIGTA identified 568,329 undetected potentially bogus tax returns with refunds totaling more than $1.6 billion for tax year 2013. That’s a drop of more than $523 million from the prior year, the report states.

 

However, the false reporting of wages and withholding accounts for the largest amount of undetected potentially fraudulent refunds at $1.3 billion. TIGTA believes the new Jan. 31 deadline for employers to file their W-2 forms with the Soc

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