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In this issue:
- 2018 Software Releases
- Financial Planning Tools and Schedule D Tools
- Scam of the Month
- Please Take Our Survey
2018 Software Releases
Most 2018 CFS programs have now been released. (For two exceptions, see "Financial Planning Tools and Schedule D Tools," below.) If you paid for CD shipping, by now you will have received a CD containing initial releases of your 2018 programs.
But why bother with CDs? Most of our customers have discovered the benefits of downloading their software from our website: eliminating the cost of shipping (and in some cases sales tax), and getting their software immediately, rather than having to wait for a CD.
To download CFS software:
- Go to www.taxtools.com and select Download Software from the Downloads menu.
- Enter your customer ID and zip code, then click the "Go to download page" button.
- Download and install your software, following the instructions at the top of the page. Note the yellow table beneath the instructions, which contains your license code(s). You can copy the license code from here and paste it into the program when you install it.
We also maintain links to past releases, in case you should ever need to download and install an old program.
Financial Planning Tools and Schedule D Tools
Financial Planning Tools and Schedule D Tools sometimes cause confusion because, unlike most of our other programs, they are not released at the beginning of the calendar year: Financial Planning Tools is generally released in March; Schedule D Tools is generally released in late April or early May. Also, both of these programs are licensed for one year and will expire unless they are renewed. It is important to keep these facts in mind when ordering, so that you order the version of the program that you need.
- Financial Planning Tools 2018 will be released in March and will expire on May 31, 2019. After that, you will no longer be able to enter new data; you will, however, be able to view and print data that has already been entered.
- Schedule D Tools 2018 will be released in late April or early May. It will allow you to enter transactions through June 30th of 2019 and generate reports for 2018 and previous tax years. A Realized Gains Report can be printed for the first six months of 2019.
Scam of the Month
It seems that every month brings a warning from the IRS of at least one new scam. February's "scam of the month" is a complicated one, involving three steps:
- Criminals steal client data from tax practitioners' computer files.
- They use the stolen data to file fraudulent tax returns on behalf of the victims, requesting refunds be deposited into the victims' bank accounts.
- They recover the erroneous refunds from the victims by claiming to represent the IRS or a collection agency and threatening legal action.
The IRS urges tax practitioners to tighten their security, and taxpayers to follow the correct procedures should they receive an erroneous refund:
As it did last week, the IRS repeated its call for tax professionals to step up security of sensitive client tax and financial files.
The IRS urged taxpayers to follow established procedures for returning an erroneous refund to the agency. The IRS also encouraged taxpayers to discuss the issue with their financial institutions because there may be a need to close bank accounts. Taxpayers receiving erroneous refunds also should contact their tax preparers immediately.
Because this is a peak season for filing tax returns, taxpayers who file electronically may find that their tax return will reject because a return bearing their Social Security number is already on file. If thatís the case, taxpayers should follow the steps outlined in the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft. Taxpayers unable to file electronically should mail a paper tax return along with Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, stating they were victims of a tax preparer data breach.
Taxpayers who receive the refunds should follow the steps outlined by Tax Topic Number 161 - Returning an Erroneous Refund. The tax topic contains full details, including mailing addresses should there be a need to return paper checks. By law, interest may accrue on erroneous refunds.
For more information, see IR-2018-27.
Please Take Our Survey
We take pride in our customer service and strive to handle customer questions and concerns courteously and efficiently. If you have recently called CFS customer service, you can help us continue to do our best by participating in a brief online survey. The seven question survey will take as little as a minute of your time and may help us improve the way we handle your next call.
To take the survey: select Customer Survey from the About CFS menu on our website, or click here. We especially appreciate your comments and suggestions.
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