Several years ago, we warned our clients to beware of emails claiming to be from the IRS, because the IRS does NOT communicate with taxpayers via email. Emails with the IRS logo do not make them legitimate.
The scams are still going on. If you get an email that appears to be from the IRS and it has a link for you to click, chances are that it contains a virus or worse … they want your bank account information. The real IRS wants to know if you suspect a fraudulent communication, so forward suspicious emails to Phishing@IRS.Gov
Not content with sending fraudulent emails, scammers are now calling taxpayers, pretending to be from the Collection Division of the IRS and demanding a payment of thousands of dollars or risk having the taxpayer arrested.
The IRS does not make telephone calls to initially inform you of any unpaid tax liabilites; they will send you a notice.
Scammers use what is known as a “ghost” telephone number, whereby a “local” telephone number is displayed on your telephone display that isn’t real.
Typical of actions by the scammers, is to threaten arrest if a payment isn’t made. Additionally, if you tell them that you would like your Enrolled Agent to handle the matter, they will tell you that they cannot or will not talk with a “third party”. When you tell a real IRS agent or officer that you want your Enrolled Agent to represent you, they must stop the interview.
If you have any doubts or questions, hang up the phone and call us.
Per IRS Notice 2018-03, the IRS announced the 2018 auto mileage rates. Effective January 1, 2018, the auto rates per mile:
Business – $0.545
Medical and moving – $0.18
Charitable – $0.14
You also have the option of calculating the actual costs of using your vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
Notice 2018-03 contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.
The 2019 auto mileage rates will be announced in December 2018.