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In this issue:
- Deadline for E-filing Information Returns
- Form 941
- "Return to Sender"
- How to Avoid Phishing Scams
Deadline for E-filing Information Returns
March 31st is generally the deadline for e-filing your information returns using W2/1099 Payroll System and the W2/1099 E-file Add-on. (States may have earlier deadlines.)
Before you can e-file, you must have an EIN (file Form SS-4), and:
If you have not previously obtained the above, you should request them immediately. It is too late to receive them before the filing deadline, so you should also immediately request an extension by completing a fill-in Form 8809 through the IRS Fire system.
Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, and Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically, are included in CFS Payroll System, as are links to the Social Security and IRS websites. We have also posted Instructional Videos on our website explaining the e-file process for W2s and 1099s.
Late last month we posted a Payroll System update containing Form 941 for 2016. The update can be downloaded automatically from within the program or manually from the Payroll System Updates page on our website.
Remember—you don't need to wait for Form 941 to be released to calculate your clients' payroll tax liabilities. 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.
"Return to Sender"
It will soon be time for spring renewal mailings to go out. Every year, a percentage of mailings come back to us, and we must attempt to contact customers to find out why. Often, this is the only way we find out that a customer has moved.
Please help us out by keeping us informed of changes in your address, firm name, contact name, phone number, or email. You can fax changes to us at 805-522-0187 or contact customer service through our website. However, the best way to inform us of a change is through your MyCFS account. Log in to your account and select "Change Firm Name/Address/Email," or click here.
Don't let an incorrect address keep you from receiving software or supplies on time!
How to 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. For example, most of us have received the warning that our bank or email account will be suspended unless we "click here" to update account information, or the invitation to "click here" to view a file a friend has shared via Google Docs. Here are some tips to help you identify and avoid such 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 such 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, eBay, Facebook, Google, Visa, etc.—knowing that the odds are pretty good that their victims will 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 a typical phishing email:
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