Recent Announcements


Don't bank on that checkd Post

posted Mar 21, 2017, 5:52 AM by Anthony Nobilio

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Scammers know how to design phony checks to make them look legitimate. In fact, the Council of Better Business Bureaus just released a list of the most “risky” scams, based on how likely people are to be targeted, how likely to lose money, and how much money they lost. Fake checks were number two.

Fake checks drive many types of scams – like those involving phony prize wins, fake jobs, mystery shoppers, online classified ad sales, and others. In a fake check scam, someone asks you to deposit a check – sometimes for several thousand dollars – and, when the funds seem to be available, wire the money to a third party. The scammers always have a good story to explain the overpayment – they’re stuck out of the country, they need you to cover taxes or fees, you’ll need to buy supplies, or something else. But when the bank discovers you’ve deposited a bad check, the scammer already has the money, and you’re stuck paying the money back to the bank.

So don’t deposit a check and wire money or send money back in any way. Banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take them weeks. If a check you deposit bounces – even after it seemed to clear – you’re responsible for repaying the bank. Money orders and cashier’s checks can be counterfeited, too.

New Standard Mileage Rates Now Available

posted Dec 14, 2014, 7:08 AM by Anthony Nobilio

IR-2014-114, Dec. 10, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014  
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.

Taxpayers always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after claiming accelerated depreciation, including the Section 179 expense deduction, on that vehicle. Likewise, the standard rate is not available to fleet owners (more than four vehicles used simultaneously). Details on these and other special rules are in Revenue Procedure 2010-51, the instructions to Form 1040 and various online IRS publications including Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

Besides the standard mileage rates, Notice 2014-79, posted today on IRS.gov, also includes the basis reduction amounts for those choosing the business standard mileage rate, as well as the maximum standard automobile cost that may be used in computing an allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

Post-Appeals Mediation For Offers in Compromise Available Nationwide

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:16 PM by Anthony Nobilio   [ updated Dec 14, 2014, 7:12 AM ]

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is releasing a revenue procedure today providing rules for the nationwide rollout of post-Appeals mediation for Offer in Compromise (OIC) and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) cases. The IRS Office of Appeals originally launched post-Appeals mediation for OIC and TFRP cases as a pilot program available in certain cities in December 2008.

Post-Appeals mediation is available to help resolve disputes after unsuccessful negotiations with the IRS Office of Appeals and is available for both factual and legal issues. The mediator’s role is to assist the parties in reaching their own agreement collaboratively, but the mediator does not have settlement authority over any issue. Appeals Officers trained in mediation techniques will serve as mediators at no cost to taxpayers. Taxpayers also have the option of paying for a qualified non-IRS co-mediator.

Taxpayers or the IRS Office of Appeals may request nonbinding mediation for eligible cases, but the taxpayer may decline the IRS Office of Appeal’s request for mediation. The goal is to complete the process within 90 days after the mediation request is approved.

Eligibility criteria and complete procedures for initiating a post-Appeals mediation request for both examination and collection issues are in Revenue Procedure 2014-63, which will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2014-53 on Dec. 29, 2014.

For more information on post-Appeals mediation for OIC and TFRP cases, please visit the Appeals Mediation Programs webpage available on IRS.gov.

Interest Rates Remain the Same for the First Quarter of 2015

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:11 PM by Anthony Nobilio   [ updated Dec 14, 2014, 7:18 AM ]

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today announced that interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning Jan. 1, 2015.  The rates will be: 

  • three (3) percent for overpayments (two (2) percent in the case of a corporation);
  • three (3) percent for underpayments;
  • five (5) percent for large corporate underpayments; and
  • one-half (0.5) percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis.  For taxpayers other than corporations, the overpayment and underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points. 

Generally, in the case of a corporation, the underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points and the overpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 2 percentage points. The rate for large corporate underpayments is the federal short-term rate plus 5 percentage points. The rate on the portion of a corporate overpayment of tax exceeding $10,000 for a taxable period is the federal short-term rate plus one-half (0.5) of a percentage point.

The interest rates announced today are computed from the federal short-term rate determined during October 2014 to take effect Nov. 1, 2014, based on daily compounding.

Revenue Ruling 2014-29 announcing the rates of interest, is attached and will appear in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2014-52, dated Dec. 22, 2014.


1-4 of 4