Friday, July 21, 2017

New EFTPS Enhancement

As you know, the IRS provides a number of electronic payment options to help taxpayers meet their tax obligations. A new enhancement allows taxpayers to sign up for email notifications when using IRS Direct Pay or EFTPS to pay their taxes. This new email feature allows taxpayers to receive notifications about their payments in their personal email accounts.

The IRS made this feature available in response to taxpayer survey feedback. Before adding this option, the only way taxpayers could keep a record of their confirmation was to write it down or print their screen.

Once taxpayers sign up, they'll receive notification messages that show:

  • payment scheduled,
  • payment cancellation,
  • return of a payment,
  • reminder for a scheduled payment,
  • payment modified and
  • address change confirmation.

EFTPS users can opt-in to receive email notifications when they enroll or update their enrollment. Direct Pay users can opt to receive email notifications each time they make a payment. To better protect taxpayers, there are no web links within the email notifications.

The IRS continues to remind taxpayers to watch out for email schemes. Taxpayers will only receive an email from IRS Direct Pay or EFTPS if they've requested the service. Taxpayers should report all unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to

For more information about tax payments visit

This text has been shared by Mary Hanson, Internal Revenue Service C&L IMRS Management and Program Analyst

Andover, Massachusetts

phone 978 783-8459
e-fax 1-877-477-8178

Thursday, July 20, 2017

HSA Amounts for 2018

The HSA amounts are indexed earlier in the year (normally in May) than other indexed items (normally in December).  Here are the indexed amounts for HSAs for 2018.

** The CONTRIBUTION limitations for 2018 are:
Single coverage is $3,450 (up from $3,400 for 2017)
Family coverage is $6,900 (up from $6,750 for 2017)
(The catch up amount for taxpayers reaching age 55 or older by the end of the year remains at $1,000)

** A HIGH DEDUCTIBLE health plan is a plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than:
$1,350 for self-only coverage (up from $1,300 for 2017)
$2,700 for family coverage (up from $2,600 for 2017)

** The annual OUT-OF-POCKET expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) cannot exceed:
$6,650 for self-only coverage (up from $6,550 for 2017)
$13,300 for family coverage (up from $13,100 for 2017)

A copy of the Revenue Procedure can be found at by clicking on irs-drop and then on rp-17-37.

This text has been shared with you courtesy of Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals and David & Mary Mellem, EAs.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Department of Revenue Updates MassTaxConnect

In case you haven't noticed, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue recently updated their MassTax Connect website system. Here are some highlights of the changes:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fiduciary Returns on Form RI-1041

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has resolved an issue involving certain fiduciary income tax returns filed on Form RI-1041 for the 2016 tax year.

For certain such returns, which showed a balance due and which were accompanied by a payment, the payments were not properly credited to the account. As a result, the Division mailed a notice to the filers, asserting that the filers owed tax, interest, and penalty.

Proactive step

When the Division of Taxation’s Front Office learned of this matter several days ago, the Division immediately responded by creating and implementing a change to its computer system. As a result:

  • The affected accounts are being automatically credited with the payments that the taxpayers had previously made, covering the 2016 tax year;
  • The interest, penalty, and balance due, as shown on the notices that the filers received in recent weeks, will automatically be deleted from the taxpayer’s record; and
  • Filers who made payments in response to the notice will receive a refund.

In perspective

The Division of Taxation processes more than 650,000 income tax returns each year. The Division estimates that approximately 1,600 returns were affected by the matter at issue, mainly fiduciary income tax returns filed on Form RI-1041 on behalf of certain trusts and estates – in other words, only a small fraction of the total. Nevertheless, each taxpayer is important, so it is imperative that the Division provide guidance for any fiduciary or tax professional involved in this matter.

Filers of the affected returns will be able to disregard the notice they had received and need take no further action. However, if a filer receives a second notice, the filer should contact the Division (because the second notice could be a sign of an underlying issue with the return itself).

Anyone with questions should contact the Division by email. Put “Form 1041” in the message header and send the email Or call the Division at (401) 574-8829 and choose option #3. The Division will also mail a letter to each affected filer, providing a brief explanation and contact information.