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In this issue:

  • Don't Miss Your Last Chance to Save!
  • IRS Warns of New Scams Targeting Tax Professionals and Clients
  • Some e-Services Still Unavailable
  • Don't Forget the New Filing Deadline
  • Envelope B and Form 1099

Don't Miss Your Last Chance to Save!
October 31st is the last chance to save...

  • 10% off the first-time purchase of additional CFS software or network upgrades, and
  • 10% off forms, envelopes, and tax supplies.

Customers who renew for next year by the end of this month are eligible for these discounts.

Click here to log in to your MyCFS account and renew (if you haven't done so already) or to take advantage of the aforementioned discounts by ordering something new.

IRS Warns of New Scams Targeting Tax Professionals and Clients
Earlier this month the IRS warned of two new scams targeting tax professionals and their clients. IRS News Release IR-2017-170 warns of a phishing scam that seeks to obtain passwords and other data by tricking tax professionals into signing a phony e-Services user agreement.

The scam email claims to be from "e-Services Registration" and uses "Important Update about Your e-Services Account" in the subject line. It states, in part, "We are rolling out a new user agreement and all registered users must accept its revised terms to have access to e-Services and its products." It asks the individual to review and accept the agreement but takes them to a fake site instead.

IRS News Release IR-2017-171 describes a two-part scam in which cybercriminals first obtain clients' email addresses from tax professionals, then use those addresses to obtain insurance information from their clients.

There may be variations but here's how one scam works: The cybercriminal, impersonating a legitimate cloud-based storage provider, entices a tax professional with a phishing email. The tax professional, thinking they are interacting with the legitimate cloud-based storage provider, provides their email credentials including username and password.
With access to the tax professional's account, the cybercriminal steals client email addresses. The cybercriminal then impersonates the tax professional and sends emails to their clients, attaching a fake IRS insurance form and requesting that the form be completed and returned. The cybercriminal receives replies by fax and/or by an email very similar to the tax professional's email – using a different email service provider or a slight variation to the tax pro's address.
The subject line varies but may be "urgent information" or a similar request. The awkwardly worded text of the email states:
Dear Life Insurance Policy Owner,
Kindly fill the form attached for your Life insurance or Annuity contract details and fax back to us for processing in order to avoid multiple (sic) tax bill (sic).
The cybercriminal, using data from the completed form, impersonates the client and contacts the individual's insurance company. The cybercriminal then attempts to obtain a loan or make a withdrawal from those accounts.

The IRS encourages tax professionals to be especially vigilant this month, because "as e-Services begins its move later this month to Secure Access authentication and its two-factor protections, cybercriminals likely will make last-ditch efforts to steal passwords and data prior to the transition." For more information, see IRS News Releases IR-2017-170 and IR-2017-171.

Some e-Services Still Unavailable
Last month the IRS began transitioning to a new, more secure e-Services platform. Unfortunately, the changeover took longer than expected, and at the time of this writing some services, including e-file Application, are still unavailable.

TDS, TIN Matching, SOR, and Registration services are all functional, and the IRS hopes to have other services, including e-file Application, back online by the end of the month.

For more information about the new e-Services platform, see Important Update about Your e-Services Account on the IRS website.

Don't Forget the New Filing Deadline
Don't forget that January 31st is now the deadline for filing W-2s with the SSA—whether you use paper forms or e-file. January 31st is also the deadline for filing Form 1099-MISC with the IRS by paper or e-file, if you are reporting nonemployee compensation payments in box 7.

Make sure you have purchased and installed the W2/1099 program (and the E-file Add-on, if you will be e-filing) and ordered any necessary forms and envelopes well before the deadline. If you will be e-filing W2s and/or 1099s for the first time, make sure you also have the following:

To e-file Forms W-2 via Social Security's Business Services Online:

W2/1099 E-file Add-onTo e-file Forms 1099 via the IRS FIRE System:

  • an EIN (file Form SS-4) and
  • a TCC number (file Form 4419)

You must apply for a TCC number at least 45 days before you plan to file. Passwords for both Social Security and IRS web sites must be changed at least every 90 days to keep them from expiring. Users are advised to change their passwords early to avoid any problems.

Envelope B and Form 1099
Our double-window Envelope B is designed for mailing the 3-up 1099 recipient copies generated by our W2/1099 program. The envelope is not wide enough to accommodate a standard 8½ by 11 inch sheet of paper, but it is just the right width for our 1099 3-up perforated stock, once the vertical tear strip has been removed.

Of course, you can print your 1099's on standard paper and cut them down to size. Or you can use standard envelopes and afix labels. But why not save yourself some work? Together, our 1099 3-up perforated stock and Envelope B are a great buy—especially when you order before October 31st and take 10% off the regular price. Click here to order.

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