Local business news in brief
Feb 13, 2007 at 8:33 AM
IRS preventing phone tax refund abuse
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NASHVILLE - The Internal Revenue Service is taking steps to prevent abuse by tax preparers and help taxpayers make accurate requests for the one-time telephone excise tax refund. The IRS Criminal Investigation special agents and IRS revenue agents are conducting special site visits with tax preparers across the nation, including in Tennessee, to prevent inflated requests made for the one-time telephone tax refund. Visits began recently to 22 different tax preparers who have handled more than 1,500 tax returns. "We are taking this unusual step to confront blatant abuse of this important refund program," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "We want tax preparers to prepare accurate tax returns. If they don't, we will move swiftly to impose civil penalties and, where warranted, seek criminal sanctions." The IRS has monitored telephone excise tax refund requests for potential problems since the tax-filing season opened in early January. The IRS has seen some problems with returns from tax preparers that may indicate criminal intent. Some tax-return preparers are requesting thousands of dollars of refunds for their clients in instances where clients are entitled to only a tiny fraction of that amount. In some cases, taxpayers requested a refund in the thousands of dollars, suggesting that the taxpayer paid more for telephone service than they received in income. Some refund requests appear to be for the entire amount of the taxpayer's phone bill, rather than just the 3 percent long-distance tax. Taxpayers who request more of a refund than they are entitled to receive will have their refunds held, and they may be subject to an audit. To make the refund easier to figure, the IRS established a standard refund amount, based on personal exemptions, ranging from $30 to $60. If taxpayers have phone bills and other records, they can request the actual amount of excise tax paid. For more information visit www.IRS.gov.
Baker Donelson among Best Employers
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JOHNSON CITY - Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC was recently named as one of the Best Employers in Tennessee. The third annual program was created by Business Tennessee magazine in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management â€“ Tennessee State Council, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Best Companies Group. The survey and award program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Tennessee, benefiting the state's economy, its work force and businesses. The Best Employers in Tennessee program is made up of 25 companies split into two groups: 15 small to medium companies (25 to 249 employees) and 10 large companies (more than 250 employees). Baker Donelson has been named one of the Best Employers in Tennessee in the large company category. Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Employers in Tennessee. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. The complete list of Best Employers in Tennessee will be published in the May issue of Business Tennessee magazine. For more information visit www.BestEmployersTN.com.