May 2016

Tax Insight–May 2016                           Rita Bhayani


Tax Notes

Second quarter individual estimated tax payments are due June 15.

Individuals with interests in, signature or other authority over one or more bank, securities or other financial accounts in a foreign country may need to file an FBAR by June 30. The due date changes to April 15 in 2017.


Security Tips

Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of scam artists out there who target the gullible. Don’t fall prey to their tactics! Following are a few tips for keeping your tax records and personal identity safe.


Keep Your Computer Secure

Use security software, and make sure it updates automatically. Essential tools include:

Firewall.

Virus/malware protection.

Strong passwords.

File backups.


Avoid Phishing and Malware

Avoid phishing emails, texts, or calls that appear to be from the IRS or companies you know and trust; go directly to their website instead.

Don’t open attachments in emails unless you know who sent it and what it is.

Download and install software only from websites you know and trust.

Use a pop-up blocker.


Protect Personal Information

Don’t routinely carry your social security card or any documents containing your SSN.

Don’t overshare personal information on social media. Information about past addresses, a new car, a new home, and your children help identity thieves pose as you.

Keep old tax returns and tax records under lock and key or encrypted if electronic. Shred tax documents before throwing them out.

Avoid IRS impersonators. The IRS will not call you with threats of jail or lawsuits. The IRS will not send you an unsolicited email suggesting you have a refund or that you need to update your account. The IRS will not request any sensitive information online. These are all scams, and they are persistent. Don’t fall for them.

Change your passwords periodically, and don’t share them with anyone.


Quote Corner
“Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” ~ Bruce Lee


Did You Know?

You can use a rubber band stretched over the top of an open paint can to wipe your brush. This will keep paint off the side of the can