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  • OCOB - Is Getting Your Refunds in Advance Too Good to Be True?
    receiving their refund as soon as possible but reminds taxpayers that IRS representatives can only research the status of your refund in limited situations if it has been 21 days or more since you filed electronically more than six weeks since you mailed your paper return or Where s my Refund tool directs you to contact the IRS Tapping into this refund fever there are now financial services that guarantee the taxpayer the ability to receive their refund ahead of the IRS through a tax refund advance This is essentially a refund anticipation loan that is backed by the taxpayers actual tax refund Taxpayers can receive their refund amount as fast as 10 days after filing In return for the advanced payments the taxpayers have to repay the full refund amount plus a finance fee and accrued interest On average these financial services get their money from the IRS within a week plus a fee ranging from one percent to four percent for advancing your refund which is actually an APR of 53 3449 216 468 Taxpayers should examine the fine print before using these services Also be advised that the website US Tax Center at IRS com is not

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/is-getting-your-refunds-in-advance-too-good-to-be-true/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Why You Should File Your Taxes Electronically
    million taxpayers filed their taxes through the online system called IRS E File and there are plenty of reasons why you should as well if you haven t already IRS E File provides free tax prep software as well as fillable electronic versions of the paper forms you may be used to filling out The system does most of the math for you avoiding simple mistakes one may encounter in traditional preparation IRS E File is held to extreme standards of security and your forms and information are protected by modern encryption technology and so far the IRS has safely protected over 1 5 billion returns to date This year the IRS has put into place even stronger safeguards against identity theft refund fraud through collaboration with states and tax industry leaders In addition to the security of your information the IRS E File allows you to gain access to your refund faster than ever Over 90 of the returns that are filed electronically receive their refunds within 21 days Conversely any taxes owed can be set up on an automatic payment system online through IRS Direct Pay Most importantly the IRS E File is FREE and can help with

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/why-you-should-file-your-taxes-electronically/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Fall Quarter Newsletter
    their director have had a very successful fall quarter In 2015 alone we saved our clients over one million dollars Read our quarterly newsletter for an introduction to our team leaders and a case spotlight Thank you to all the senior accounting students who worked in the LITC this quarter We are looking forward to another successful year in 2016 Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2015 Posted Dec 10 2015 Recent News

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/fall-quarter-newsletter/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Choosing a Tax Preparer Early
    be aware of This is primarily because a taxpayer must entrust personal and confidential information to prospective preparers While a majority of tax preparers are professional and honest the Internal Revenue Service IRS warns that there are unscrupulous preparers looking to defraud taxpayers out of hard earned income Here are a few tips to consider before choosing your tax preparer The preparer has a preparer tax identification number PTIN Paid tax return preparers must have a current PTIN before they can prepare returns It is important that this is the first step a taxpayer must verify before any others steps are taken The IRS RPO Preparer Directory is a database containing all preparers with a valid and current PTIN Research the preparer s history A quick google search goes a long way For more specific histories you can check the IRS Office of Enrollment for IRS trained preparers For accountants check with the state board of accountancy For attorneys check with the state bar association Ask about service fees Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund or guarantee a higher refund than others Taxpayers need to make sure that any refund is sent to them or is deposited to their bank account It should not go to a preparer under any circumstances Provide tax records An upstanding preparer will ask to see financial records and receipts There is no other legal alternative A red flag should be raised when a potential preparer opts to use pay stubs rather than the form W 2 Never sign a blank tax return If a taxpayer signs a blank return it allows the preparer to put anything they want on the return even their own bank account numbers Make sure when signing a prepared return to verify all data

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/choosing-a-tax-preparer-early/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Reflection on my LITC Experience
    so that I can get the best possible result for my client I believe the responsibility that I have been given as a student accountant for the LITC is another Learn by Doing advantage that Cal Poly has provided me with that other schools simply can t provide Not only have I expanded my knowledge of tax law I have also improved my soft skills and business acumen Working in the clinic I have had the opportunity to answer phone calls to discuss real tax controversies with real clients In addition to all that I ve learned the work is also very rewarding Knowing that the work each of us as student accountants do is changing lives is very fulfilling The work we do in the LITC is a mixture of group work and individual work This variety makes every day interesting I m able to bounce ideas off of co workers but I am still responsible for my own work Each student accountant also has a team leader usually a grad student to give them direction on their projects They are extremely helpful in answering logistical questions and providing guidance on how to handle complex tax matters In addition

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/reflection-on-my-litc-experience-3/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - IRS Warns Taxpayers to Stay Alert for Scam Phone Calls
    will call claiming they are IRS officials demanding the victim pay a tax bill immediately usually through a pre paid card or wire transfer The call may seem legitimate because scammers can change caller ID making it look like it s the IRS that is actually calling The thieves will use fake badge numbers and IRS titles They also may know the victim s address and other personal information The demand may sound threatening mentioning possible arrest deportation or driver s license revocation The thieves tricks continue to be more creative Some may ask the victim to send a receipt for the payment they made to an actual IRS office Phony emails and regular mail displaying the actual IRS letterhead address and phone number might be used to make the demand seem more official Recent statistics from the IRS reveal about 736 000 attempted scams since October 2013 In total these scams have cost around 4 550 victims about 23 million in total Don t let yourself be one of these victims Keep in mind that the IRS will NEVER 1 call to demand immediate payment especially without mailing a bill first 2 demand payment without giving the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed 3 require a specific form of payment method such as a pre paid debit card 4 ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or 5 threaten to bring in law enforcement groups to have you arrested for failing to pay If you receive a call and do not think you owe taxes do not reveal any information and hang up immediately You can use the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report a call You can also call 800 366 4484 You can report it to the Federal Trade Commission

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/irs-warns-taxpayers-to-stay-alert-for-scam-phone-calls/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Don’t Miss Out on College Tax Credits
    year make sure to claim your college tax credits for expenses such as tuition fees books and other school supplies If eligible you could receive a credit of up to 2 500 with 40 of that being refundable meaning you can receive it even if you owe no taxes The main college tax credit available is the American Opportunity tax credit In order to be eligible a student must be enrolled in a program leading towards a degree or certificate and not have completed four years of post secondary education They also must have carried at least one half of the full time work load for one academic period and not have been convicted of a felony drug offense In order to receive the full benefits from this tax credit an individual s modified adjusted gross income must be under 80 000 or 160 000 for joint filers A taxpayer whose modified adjusted gross income is greater than 90 000 180 000 for joint filers would not be able to claim the credit Keep in mind that room and board as well as transportation are not qualified expenses under the American Opportunity Tax Credit To find out more information visit

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/dont-miss-out-on-college-tax-credits/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Refection on My LITC Experience
    quarter is how volunteering can be a mutually beneficial experience For me it was a chance to apply accounting and tax knowledge that I have learned from classes to real world situations and to learn even more about the tax law In order to provide the necessary assistance with a client s case we as student accountants have to understand the client s dispute and the position we are taking on their behalf This contributes to the learning process as we become really familiar with the relevant facts and the issues in dispute as well as how we intend to resolve these matters For example through assisting with legal memorandums for a tax court case I gained exposure to the appeals process as well as more technical knowledge about locating and applying the appropriate Internal Revenue Code sections At the same time it was rewarding to know that the time and effort we provide is going towards helping clients who may be in a period of financial difficulty to resolve a significant tax dispute Being able to gain real world client experience by helping to solve tax controversies as a part of our Senior Project is a highly valuable experience

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/refection-on-my-litc-experience/ (2016-02-17)
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