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In this issue:

  • Form 941
  • Avoid Phishing Scams
  • Has Anything Changed?

Form 941
We recently posted a Payroll System update containing Form 941 for 2017. The update can be downloaded automatically from within the program or manually from the Payroll System Updates page on our website.

Every year we post an update containing Form 941 as soon as possible after the IRS form is released. (Time is required to program the form, test it, and obtain approval from the IRS.) The update is generally posted in mid-March, which we feel is reasonable, considering the form isn't due until April 30th. Yet every year we get calls long before the form is due, asking why it hasn't been released. And every year we wonder why so many customers are so eager to get this form so early.

941/940One possibility is that they are using Form 941 to calculate clients' payroll tax liabilities. But there is another way to do this. Payroll System contains three Payroll Deposit Record modules: Federal Payroll Deposit Record - Form 941, Federal Payroll Deposit Record - Form 940, and State Payroll Deposit Record. These modules are designed to calculate the tax liability on any given payroll period or date, as well as accumulate payments made.

For more information, see the Payroll System Help file.

Avoid Phishing Scams
Phishing is a form of identity theft in which scammers try to trick their victims into divulging personal information, generally by means of emails with links to counterfeit websites. The IRS issued warnings in January and February regarding phishing scams targeting tax professionals. This month they warned that such scams are becoming more common as we approach the April 18th filing deadline. Here are some tips to help you identify and avoid phishing scams:

  • Beware of links. One thing all phishing scams have in common is that they want you to "click here." Don't do it. Usually, clicking a link will take you to a counterfeit website, but it could run an executable file to install malicious software on your computer. Instead of clicking, hover your mouse over the suspicious link. The actual address of the link will pop up—generally at the bottom of your browser or email app. If the actual address does not look legitimate or does not match the text of the link, it's probably a scam.
  • Beware of emails that appear to come from popular businesses. Scammers use graphics to make it appear that their emails come from legitimate businesses. They pick popular businesses—Bank of America, Visa, Yahoo, Google, etc.—knowing the odds are that their victims have accounts with those businesses. The web addresses they use may also resemble the addresses of the businesses they are counterfeiting, but will be slightly different.
  • Look for spelling and grammatical errors, awkward wording. Language errors and strange, awkward wording generally indicate that the email comes from another country and is a scam.
  • Don't respond to threats. Legitimate businesses do not try to alarm their customers, but cybercriminals often employ threats—for example, warning that your security has been compromised, or that your account will be closed if you do not respond.

Here's an example of a typical phishing email:

Has Anything Changed?
Have you changed your firm name, address, email or phone number? If so, you need to let us know. If we don't have the right address, you won't receive shipments or mailings, and if we don't have the right email address, you won't receive emailed receipts or notifications. And don't forget that your license code is determined by your firm name and address: if you change the firm information in your software without notifying us and obtaining a new license code, the program may no longer function.

It's easy to inform us of changes in your firm information through your MyCFS account. Log in to your account and select "Change Firm Name/Address/Email," or click here. You can also fax changes to us at 805-522-0187 or email us through our website.

To notify us of minor changes, such as a phone number or email address, you can call our customer service department at 1-800-343-1157.

CFS Customer Service

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