IRS Red Flags

Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP was featured in Newsday in an article about filing taxes for the 2017 tax season that is currently underway. Read More

Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP Warns of Deceitful Tax Filing Phone Calls and Emails

Local Accounting Firm Reminds Taxpayers that “Federal and State Tax Agencies Will Always Contact you via Snail Mail First”

The partners of Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP want all taxpayers to know about the latest scams taking place on unsuspecting, hardworking individuals and families during this very busy tax season. In addition to a recent statement from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warning residents of phone call scams, the firm has additionally become aware of an email phishing scam.

The email, wrought with spelling and grammatical mistakes, begins “Dear Tax-payer, We are reaching out to you in regards to your E-Filing, from the previous year and current year…” and ends with a disclaimer that the IRS will never share your personal information. The “sender” of the email is listed as IRS-gov.us, and the “sent from” the address lrs.index.services@gmavt.net. Though many will overlook the fact that the email address is not government issued, it is especially important to note that the IRS’ Website is actually www.irs.gov. Any email correspondence they do ultimately have with taxpayers always comes direct from an agent to your tax preparer during an audit and not the “Internal Revenue Service.”

Additionally, Governor Cuomo recently shared a phone scam that is affecting taxpayers locally. In this instance, callers are posing as New York State Treasury agents, encouraging residents to turn over their bank account information. Another potential tax-preparation scam for which taxpayers should be vigilant relates to penalties related to the Affordable Care Act. In this situation, untrustworthy tax preparers tell clients to pay the money directly to them.

“To avoid being the victim of a scam, the Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz team encourages all taxpayers to remain vigilant for potential theft,” says Scott Sanders, CPA, PFS, CGMA, CFP©, CFS, Managing Partner, Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP. “Never reply to emails or phone calls from a government agent who had not initially reached out to you via snail mail. Remember that tax payments should always be sent direct to the government agencies, not to your tax preparer. And, if you think you’ve come across a potential scam, the Governor has set up a new Webpage, where this fraud can be reported.”

If you have any questions or issues with either phone calls or emails from government agencies, Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz has a team of professionals available to help. For more information, call (516) 938-5219.

Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP Alerts New Yorkers to Advantages of the 56 Recent Federal Tax Break Extensions

600,000 Long Islanders will also Benefit from Increased STAR Program Rebates

With the New Year comes a new tax season and with it the latest tax breaks and rebates. As such, Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP is informing all New York taxpayers of recent legislation that will allow 56 Federal tax breaks to be extended through 2016 and on the upcoming state tax rebates. The pending legislation will benefit both large and small businesses, commuters who use public transportation, teachers who pay out-of-pocket for their classroom and individuals using income taxes to pay forgiven debt on reduced mortgages. Updates to the STAR rebate program will also benefit all New Yorkers, who will receive a sum 2.5 percent greater than last year’s rebate.

This latest Senate bill extends will save taxpayers $95 billion, and will benefit one in six Americans, while further adding to the American deficit. Technology businesses will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the breaks, as there are tax credits for research and development. There is also an exemption that allows financial companies such as banks and investment firms to avoid high taxes on foreign profits and corporations will be able to write off capital investments at a faster rate.

Homeowners who are enrolled in the New York State’s School Tax Relief Program (STAR) will receive a property tax rebate checks of varying amounts if their local government and school district stayed under the property tax cap unfortunately. To qualify, the property must be the homeowner’s primary residence and the total household income must be $500,000 or less. Though the average increase will be around 2.5 percent, residents in 22 villages will receive smaller amounts due to their town’s overspending.

Other exceptions to reimbursement are improvements to property that increase its value, changes in a property’s exemption status or a jurisdiction assessment to the extent the increase in the property’s assessed value exceeds the average change in assessed value.

“The passing of this legislation and the property tax-freeze rebate will open up several opportunities to New Yorkers who felt the strain this year,” says Scott Sanders, CPA, PFS, CGMA, CFP®, CFS, Managing Partner, Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP. “Smart fiscal discipline can be the difference between receiving a check this time next year or not. Personal finances should be trusted to professionals who know the ins and outs of the system and can conduct their audits efficiently.”

 

For more information, call (516) 938-5219.

Eliot Lebenhart Featured in Long Island Business News: “In Vogue with International Tax”

Eliot Lebenhart, CPA, Senior Partner of Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP, was recently interviewed for Long Island Business News‘ “In Vogue with International Tax” article. In this feature, Mr. Lebenhart discussed specialized tax preparation for models and entertainers, including managing foreign and domestic tax issues. He also focused on the business expense guidelines and restrictions faced by these professionals. Read More

Eliot H. Lebenhart, CPA, PC Merges into Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP

Merger Will Allow CPA Firm to Expand into Providing Accounting Services for the Medical, Sports and Entertainment Industries

Effective November 1, Eliot H. Lebenhart, CPA, PC of Plainview, New York, will merge into Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP. The latter will retain its current name of Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP and continue to market itself as Sanders Thaler. With this merger, the firm will expand its practice areas by providing tax, accounting and business cpamanagement services to the medical, sports and entertainment industries.

Eliot H. Lebenhart, CPA is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton. Prior to starting his own firm, he worked at various CPA firms that specialized in providing tax services to the sports and entertainment industries. In 1983, he started his own firm which concentrated in the fields of fashion modeling, entertainment and sports. He has also developed a practice in the medical field, along with a diversified clientele.

Mr. Lebenhart is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the New York State Society of CPAs’ Nassau Chapter (NYSSCPA-Nassau), where he co-chairs the Small Firm Management of an Accounting Practice Committee and the Practice Continuation Committee. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Nassau/Suffolk Chapter of the National Conference of CPA Practitioners, where he previously served on its Executive Board of Directors.

In addition, Mr. Lebenhart has spoken at numerous seminars on tax and financial planning strategies and at NYSSCPA-Nassau events. He has also appeared on television and radio shows speaking about financial and tax-related strategies.

“We are excited to announce Mr. Lebenhart’s firm merging into our firm,” said Scott Sanders, CPA, PFS, CGMA, CFP®, CFS, the firm’s managing partner. “Eliot is a well-versed accountant experienced in tax and accounting issues affecting the medical, sports and entertainment industries. We know that Eliot will be a terrific addition to our firm that will benefit both our clients and our staff.”

“I am pleased to join forces with Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz,” Mr. Lebenhart said. “I am looking forward to working with a great group of accountants and professionals.”