Friday, March 24, 2017

IRS, States and Tax Industry Warn of Last-Minute Email Scams

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned both tax professionals and taxpayers of last-minute phishing email scams, especially those requesting last-minute deposit changes for refunds or account updates.

As the 2017 tax filing season winds down to the April 18 deadline, tax-related scams of various sorts are at their peak. The IRS urged both tax professionals and taxpayers to be on guard against suspicious activity.

The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.

The IRS also suggests that tax professionals change and strengthen their own email passwords to better protect their email accounts used to exchange sensitive data with clients.

Remember: never open an attachment or link from an unknown or suspicious source. It may infect your computer with malware or steal information.

For more information refer to this IRS link for further instructions on what to do when dealing with phishing/online scams:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Acknowledgement Status

Around the March 15 and April 15 deadlines, the processing volume at the IRS will increase daily. Both return volume and return size will affect processing time. While you are accustomed to receiving your Federal acknowledgements within a one hour time-frame, that turnaround time will increase as the deadline approaches. You may see your acknowledgements take from 2 to 4 hours, and possibly longer.

Current year federal:
Corp, S-Corp, & Partnership acks
Business Extension acks

Current year state: Note: State acks are not considered late until outstanding for more than five days. 
FL Business
IN Business
KY Individual
LA Business and Individual
MI Business
NJ Business
NY Business

Friday, February 17, 2017

Outstanding State or Federal Acks

Current year federal:
1099s- all efiles sent by the deadline have been acknowledged. 
A few batches are outstanding from the period Feb 1 thru current; 1099s can take a week to return acks

Current year state:
State acks are not considered late until outstanding for more than five days

CA Individual- if you receive an EFC reject, read the reject messaging and follow the instructions. A small number of TaxWise Desktop EROs have a specific scenario where you are instructed to uninstall the CA module and reinstall CA, then create new efiles and send.

NY has outstanding acks back 7-10 days.  They posted this message to software providers, so we should start seeing acks by the weekend or Monday Feb 20th. 
" We are experiencing an internal issue that has delayed sending out of the ACKS for submissions sent in on or after February 7th, 2017.  We are working to resolve the issue and anticipate the fix to be in production this Friday February 17th, 2017" 

Prior year efiles:
1099s for 2015 and 2014
NY individual

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Refund Timing for Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit Filers

The IRS will begin to release EITC/ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15. However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or debit cards until the week of February 27 -- if there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit. This additional period is due to several factors, including banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits.
Where's My Refund? ‎on and the IRS2Go mobile app will be updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC /ACTC refund filers a few days after Feb. 15. Taxpayers will not see a refund date on Where's My Refund? ‎or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so Where’s My Refund? remains the best way to check the status of a refund.

Why is my refund being held?

Beginning in 2017, if you claim the EITC or ACTC on your tax return, the IRS must hold your refund until Feb. 15. This new law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC. Like previous years, some tax refunds may be held if there are questions about the tax return or the IRS needs more information.

Will I get my refund on Feb. 15?

While the IRS will begin to issue EITC/ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15, you should not count on actually seeing your refund until the week of Feb. 27 -- if you chose direct deposit or a debit card and there are no processing issues with your tax return.

Why does it take so long for the funds to show up in my account?

It takes additional time for refunds to be processed after leaving the IRS, and for financial institutions to accept and deposit them to bank accounts and products like debit cards. Also many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving President’s Day affects their refund timing.

How do I check the status of my refund?

Where's My Refund ‎on and the IRS2Go mobile app remains the best way to check the status of a refund. Where’s My Refund will be updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers a few days after Feb. 15. Taxpayers will not see a refund date on Where's My Refund ‎or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so taxpayers should not contact or call them about refunds before the end of February.

Friday, February 10, 2017

8962 Validation Error for "monthCD"

You attempt to create an efile for a return that contains the 8962 with 0's on line 12
You receive efile validation error similar to this
The '' element is invalid - The value '' is invalid according to its datatype 'String' - The Pattern constraint failed.  

Solution: Hold the return until US Module version 7 is released, planned by Monday
Workaround: roll back your US Module version to version 5, create the efile and send. 
Rollback Instructions:
1. In Refunds Today:  Go to Tools menu > Utilities/Setup Assistant > Tools > Uninstall Modules
select Individual – 1040 and click OK
2. Navigate to the drive where Refunds Today is installed   X:\UTS16\MAILBOX folder
delete the module files with STUIUS??.zip, where ?? will be 01-06
3. Download and install the 1040v5 module from this link:
Note- as you connect to the EFC, US Module version 6 will be pushed down to you. Don't install it until you've sent these efiles getting the validation error above,
Also don't 'get module updates' for your states, or else you will pull down US Module version 6. You can download state updates from the support site DOWNLOAD page until US Module version 7 is available.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

IRS Reject 195/196 for IPAddress

Scenario: You efiled a return and received IRS Reject 195/196 with wording similar to this

<ErrorMessageTxt>'IPAddress' in 'AtSubmissionCreationGrp' in 'FilingSecurityInformation' in the Return Header must have a valid value.

<ErrorMessageTxt>'IPAddress' in 'AtSubmissionFilingGrp' in 'FilingSecurityInformation' in the Return Header must have a valid value.


One of these can be fixed by you immediately. Note the words in red. If your wording is 'filing', then you can fix this reject yourself. Verify that you are live on the internet on that computer with a solid, strong internet connection.  Open the return, create a new efile and send.  If you repeatedly get this reject, verify your internet connection is strong, especially if you are on wireless.  A spotty connection causes a value to populate that field that will result in this reject. 
Also, if you create efiles offline, while not connected to the internet, you will likely get this reject. To resolve that, recreate the efile after you are live again on the internet, then send it. 

Another clue, If the field is blank/all zeros, then you can resolve this error yourself.
Simply create a new efile and send. The act of recreating the efile causes Refunds Today to attempt to populate that blank field with your computer IP Address

The other reject, with the wording 'creation' cannot be resolved by you. That field is saved to the database and can only be remedied by a technician. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How to Unlock Non-Admin Users in Refunds Today 2016

If a non-admin user becomes locked, the Admin user should use the following steps to unlock the user:
  1. Login as the Admin user.
  2. Click the Tools menu, then select Utilities/Setup Assistant.
  3. From the Utility, click the Setup menu, then click Setup Assistant.
  4. From Setup Assistant, click the Groups & Users tab.
  5. Click the user you wish to unlock and click the View/Edit button. Once the Modify User dialog opens, you will see the Account Locked check box selected:
  6. To unlock the account, remove the check box and click OK. The user account is no longer locked.