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In this issue:
- Payroll Tax Cut Extension
- Don't let your clients get phished!
- Information Return Deadlines
- 2012 Software Releases
- Release Dates for Financial Planning Tools and Schedule D Tools
Payroll Tax Cut Extension
Late last year, Congress passed a two-month extension of the Payroll Tax Cut, leaving the employee's share of OASDI at last year's reduced rate of 4.2% through the end of February. On February 17th, Congress voted to continue the extension through the end of 2012. President Obama signed the bill into law on February 22nd.
Now that the extension has been passed, we expect the IRS to release Form 941 soon. CFS Payroll System and other programs will be updated as necessary. As always, users will be notified by e-mail when updates are available for download. And remember—if you have a dedicated high-speed Internet connection, you can configure the program to automatically check for updates each time you run it. Click Configuration on the toolbar, and check the box next to Check for web updates when program starts.
Don't let your clients get phished!
We recently heard about a taxpayer who received an e-mail purporting to be from the IRS regarding her tax refund, asking her for all kinds of personal and financial information, including her social security number, bank account numbers, passwords—even her mother's maiden name. Fortunately, she forwarded the e-mail to her tax preparer, who recognized it at once as a phishing scam.
"Phishing is a scam typically carried out by unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information." Do your clients a favor and warn them about such scams. Have them forward any suspicious e-mail to you so that you can forward it to the IRS, or instruct them to forward the e-mail directly to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or any social media tools to request personal or financial information." For more information on phishing and similar scams, see this article on the IRS web site.
Information Return Deadlines
As you probably know, the deadline for filing information returns by mail to Social Security and the IRS is the end of this month. However, did you know that you have until the end of March to e-file your W-2s and 1099s? In fact, because March 31 falls on a Saturday, this year the deadline for e-filing information returns is April 2.
You can save time—as well as paper, ink, and postage—by e-filing your W-2s and 1099s with W-2/1099 Payroll System plus the E-file Add-on. The E-file Add-on allows you to quickly and easily submit data from W2/1099 Payroll System to Social Security, the IRS, and many participating states, via the Internet.
If you have already purchased W2/1099 Payroll System and the E-file Add-on and you need assistance with e-filing, see the instructional videos, How to eFile 1099s and How to eFile W2s, posted on our Instructional Videos page.
2012 Software Releases
Most 2012 CFS programs have now been released. (For two exceptions, see Release Dates for Financial Planning Tools and Schedule D Tools, below.) If you purchased your software on CD, you should have already received a CD containing initial releases of the 2012 programs. If not, downloading your programs from our web site is as easy as 1-2-3:
- Go to www.taxtools.com and select Download Software from the Downloads menu.
- Enter your customer ID and zip code, then click the "Go to download page" button.
- Download and install your software, following the instructions at the top of the page. Note the yellow box beneath the instructions, which contains your license code(s). You can copy the license license code from here and paste it into the program when you install it.
Release Dates for Financial Planning Tools and Schedule D Tools
Financial Planning Tools and Schedule D Tools sometimes cause confusion because, unlike most of our other programs, they are not released at the beginning of the calendar year. Financial Planning Tools is released in mid-March, and Schedule D Tools is generally released the first week of May. Also, both of these programs are licensed for one year and will expire unless they are renewed. It is important to keep these facts in mind when ordering, so that you order the version of the program that you need.
- Financial Planning Tools 2012 will be released in March 2012. Unless renewed, the program will cease to function after May 31, 2013.
- Schedule D Tools 2012 will be released in May 2012. It will allow you to enter transactions through June 30th of 2013 and generate reports for 2012 and previous tax years. A Realized Gains Report can be printed for the first six months of 2013.
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