Jouney Home for Hmong Veteran.
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today renewed their warning about an email scam that uses a corporate officer’s name to request employee Forms W-2 from company payroll or human resources departments.
This week, the IRS already has received new notifications that the email scam is making its way across the nation for a second time. The IRS urges company payroll officials to double check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of Forms W-2 or Social Security number.
The W-2 scam first appeared last year. Cybercriminals tricked payroll and human resource officials into disclosing employee names, SSNs and income information. The thieves then attempted to file fraudulent tax returns for tax refunds.
This phishing variation is known as a “spoofing” e-mail. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this variation, the “CEO” sends an email to a company payroll office or human resource employee and requests a list of employees and information including SSNs.
The following are some of the details that may be contained in the emails:
- Kindly send me the individual 2016 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.
- Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary).
- I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.
Working together in the Security Summit, the IRS, states and tax industry have made progress in their fight against tax-related identity theft, cybercriminals are using more sophisticated tactics to try to steal even more data that will allow them to impersonate taxpayers.
The Security Summit supports a national taxpayer awareness campaign called “Taxes. Security. Together.” and a national tax professional awareness effort called “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself.” These campaigns offer simple tips that can help make data more secure.
The Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce its re-launch of the start-up business training program, Plan It! in partnership with Neighborhood Development Center (NDC).
The program will be offered in North Minneapolis (Location to be determined) this coming Spring! It is a program intended to reduce barriers to small business success for residents in the Twin Cities and a few surrounding suburbs who want to learn the skills needed to write a business plan and start and operate their own small business. The program is a 12-session program, 2-hour per week commitment.
It will be taught by a Hmong trainer with a wealth of business experience and background. The program is intended to equip you with the knowledge to run a successful business. In addition to the in class training, you’ll receive up to 10 hours of free one-on-one consultation with your Trainer and other specialized consultants through NDC to prepare you for success. They will provide you with individual support and attention to ensure that when you open your doors to your business, you are prepared.
To apply and/or learn more, please call or email us today!
The 2017 edition of “A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota” is now available from the Small Business Assistance Office at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in St. Paul. The popular guide, which is now in its 35th edition and free of charge, provides a concise summary of the major issues faced by anyone starting a business in Minnesota.
The guide includes information on the newly revised Limited Liability Company Act, which changes Minnesota’s current corporation-based model to a partnership model found in about 38 other states. The new model provides flexibility in areas like the standards of conduct required of Limited Liability Company members, managers and governors.
This edition contains three major sections:
- Expanded Resource Directory, including addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of organizations referenced in the text; and
- Directory of Licenses and Permits, which lists business licenses and permits required by the state of Minnesota, the state agency that issues or administers the license or permit, and a phone number for obtaining more information.
To order a printed copy, or get a copy on a CD-ROM, call the DEED Small Business Assistance Office at 651-259-7476 or 1-800-310-8323. The office is located at First National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200, St. Paul, MN 55101-1351.
Note to Editor: This is the eighth in a series of reminders to help taxpayers prepare for the upcoming tax filing season.
IR-2016-172, Dec. 20, 2016 Español
WASHINGTON — As the tax filing season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that an appointment is required for in-person tax help at all IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC).
IRS TACs continue to be a vital part of the service IRS provides when a tax issue cannot be resolved on-line or by phone. All IRS TACs now provide face-to-face service by-appointment. Instead of taxpayers going directly to their local TAC, they can call 844-545-5640 to reach an IRS representative, who is trained to either help them resolve their issue or schedule an appointment for them to get the help they need.
The Contact Your Local Office tool on IRS.gov helps taxpayers find the closest IRS TAC, the days and hours of operation, and a list of services provided. The IRS said studies show most taxpayers visit a TAC to make payments, inquire about a notice, ask about a refund, get a transcript or obtain a tax form. Many of these issues can be resolved at IRS.gov without traveling to an IRS office.
Check Publication 5136, the IRS Services Guide for additional information on available services.
Don’t Wait In Line
Between January and mid-May 2016, taxpayers used IRS.gov nearly 349 million times to find tax information and assistance on IRS.gov. But many taxpayers are not aware that in addition to various interactive tools, IRS.gov has resources and answers about many tax matters, some in Spanish.
Tax help is just a keystroke away using the Interactive Tax Assistant or Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, a comprehensive tax guide for individuals. The IRS Tax Map allows taxpayers to search by topic or keyword for information.
For more information, visit IRS.Gov/GetReady.
IRS YouTube Videos
Yuwadee Poophakumpanart, owner of Thai Café in St. Paul, started her business six years ago with only the support of her family. She wasn’t aware that a Hmong Chamber of Commerce existed, and said if the nonprofit wants to reinvent itself, she’d welcome the chance to improve her modest operation. Doualy Xaykaothao |
When she wanted to open her restaurant, the Thai Café, six years ago, Yuwadee Poophakumpanart did it all on her own. She went without bank loans, community networks or business training workshops.
“When it comes to restaurants,” she said, “we might have similar names, but we all cook differently. I opened my place to see if people would like my style.”
She is an ethnic Hmong, despite her Thai name. Her small restaurant does a modest business at University and Western, minutes from downtown St. Paul. She has a simple Facebook page for the restaurant, with several hundred likes.
It’s businesses like hers that the Hmong Chamber of Commerce hopes to help support and grow.
The Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce was founded nearly two decades ago, but since that time, it hasn’t been very active in the Twin Cities. Some of its co-founders are looking to re-invigorate the group to help support Hmong-owned businesses and grow new ones.
On a recent Saturday morning, more than 100 Hmong entrepreneurs gathered at a North St. Paul restaurant called Hmong House. State and local officeholders were also in attendance.
Michael Cherwayia Thao, a co-founder of the Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce, reviewed of the state of Hmong businesses. Not long ago, Thao said, the Hmong lived in the highlands of Southeast Asia, in bamboo huts with dirt floors. Few went to school. Today, Hmong in Minnesota own law practices, medical centers, and nonprofits. More Hmong-Americans are graduating from college. But they still have the highest rate of poverty among Asian-Americans.
Nearly 700 Hmong-Americans hold Ph.Ds, Thao said, a remarkable number for a population that only a few generations ago was struggling to learn English and adjust to a new homeland.
More than 66,000 Hmong live in Minnesota. Their buying power is estimated at about $615 million. Of all the Hmong communities in the United States, the Hmong in Minnesota are the most accomplished and progressive, said Bao Vang, president and CEO of the St. Paul non-profit Hmong American Partnership.
“We have lived in America now for 40 years,” Vang said. “How far have we come? Do we have the heart and dedication to see the importance of a group such as this Hmong Chamber of Commerce, which has the potential to lift us into greater successes?”
The Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce has just a few dozen members. It’s hoping to fundraise and recruit enough new members this summer to hire a dedicated full-time staffer. The chamber’s secretary, Kabo Yang, is a volunteer.
“We have culture that plays into it, we have spirituality that plays into it, we have multi-generations of immigrants, of families living together,” Yang said. “The way that we spend our money, the way we share our money, it’s a very unique culture that plays into how we run our businesses and how we view our business leaders.”
Participants talked about the value of business mentorships, the need to build trust among entrepreneurs and the dangers of predatory lending. They also discussed the challenges of charging membership dues.
Dues are $120 a year, but one new member donated $2,000 to help kick-start the membership drive. The chamber hopes others will do the same.
Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, embrace it as if you had chosen it. This will miraculously change your whole life.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Being present. It sounds so simple, right?
But too often we are taken out of the present moment. Our heads get cluttered with the mind chatter of yesterday, broken memories, and anxieties and fears of what’s to come; all the while, we look past the beauty and simplicity of the present—this moment, right now.
It’s taken me years to learn how to live presently. My childhood was traumatic; my mother passed away when I was ten years old. I remember the days when I’d visit her at the hospital, naively believing that everything would be okay.