GruntWorx Blog

GRUNTWORX NEW RELEASE INCLUDES TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

GruntWorx, LLC, has released an updated user portal for the upcoming filing season. The release streamlines the user interface, adds new administrator and user settings and incorporates two-factor authentication to improve the security of customer accounts for the tax year Read More...

Need Lost Paperwork to Make an Insurance Claim After the Hurricanes? The IRS has Advice

This week we’re continuing to look at hurricane relief efforts. While previous blogs covered how to avoid being scammed when contributing to charitable organizations and how the IRS expanded tax relief for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, today Read More...

IRS Gives Tax Relief to More Hurricane Victims

Hurricane Michael is one of the most catastrophic storms in recent memory. A Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall, it cut a path of devastation from Florida to Virginia. To make matters worse, Hurricane Michael came right after Hurricane Read More...

The Facebook Hack: What Should You Do?

From international corporations to local businesses, entrepreneurs across the country have embraced Facebook as an integral part of their online presence. Given a late-June CNN report that the social media platform now has more than 2 billion users, that makes Read More...

IRS Has Tips for Identifying Data Theft

You may have created a data security plan for your office with all the bells and whistles—employee training, security software, offsite data backups, secure client-facing portals, and more—but do you know how to spot what the Internal Revenue Service calls Read More...

Avoid Giving Money to Fake Charities

Our offices in Franklin, NC may have been spared devastating winds and torrential flooding, but much of North Carolina and South Carolina are dealing with the effects of Hurricane Florence. That means recovery efforts are underway, and good-hearted people across Read More...

Tax Law Changes a Tax-Planning Opportunity

One of the most well-known changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the adjustment to tax brackets. While many Americans may be paying less in tax than last year, there are still those who need to double check Read More...

IRS to Tax Pros: “Encrypt Client Data”

The IRS recently reminded tax return preparers that an essential component of data security plans is data encryption. Taxpayers entrust tax return preparers with the data that informs almost every aspect of their finances, and cyber criminals know it. That’s Read More...

The Importance of Having a Security Plan

Last week, the transformer supplying power to the downtown area went down during a particularly nasty thunder storm. After gathering my things and cranking the truck, I braced myself: there were no working traffic lights for several blocks, and my Read More...

IRS Subpoena to Increase Voluntary Cryptocurrency Reporting?

So what happened? It turns out that a currency designed to provide anonymity might encourage some investors to neglect reporting their earnings to the IRS. At the end of 2016, the IRS served a summons to Coinbase—the largest cryptocurrency exchange Read More...

Virtual Reality

When Can I Have a Holodeck? I want a holodeck. Star Trek: The Next Generation fans will know precisely what I’m talking about: a room that generates holographic environments that are—for all intents and purposes—“real.” While TNG’s holodeck served as Read More...

You Need to Understand Tech

They put the “IT” in the humanities. When clicking through some TED Talks last week, I came across entrepreneur Eric Berridge’s “Why Tech Needs the Humanities.” As someone with a Master of Arts in English, you could say my interest Read More...

5G and the Future of Accounting

How is a cellphone network going to revolutionize tax preparation? If you’ve regularly upgraded your cell phone over the past few years, you might remember the sales representative’s not-so-subtle enthusiasm for the then-brand new wireless network: 3G. As a former Read More...

Blue Light Special: Screen Time and Your Health

When I wake up, I quietly check the news on my phone before slipping into my truck to drive to the gym, where I’ll read articles between sets. At work, I spend countless hours hammering away at my keyboard and Read More...

Three Things to Help You Address Data Security Now

It’s July, and that means firing up the grill and staring at elaborate, choreographed pyrotechnic displays. It also means taking classes to earn CPE and thinking ahead to filing season. Don’t neglect data security in the off-season! Since 2015, the Read More...

Under the Sea (Where the Internet Lives)

Under the Sea (Where the Internet Lives) Today we’re going to discuss the Internet. Once you recover from the shock of a tech-focused blog covering technology, let’s get to the question of the day: How is the Internet in the Read More...

What is the Dark Web?

You’ve probably heard about Social Security Numbers and credit card numbers being sold on the “Dark Web,” but you may not know exactly what that means. Before taking a brief look at the Dark Web and how it may impact Read More...

You Might Have Been Cryptojacked

You Might Have Been Cryptojacked There’s a familiar sound that could spell trouble for your computer: the whirring of your CPU fan. In a development that should surprise no one, cybercriminals are hacking into computers and using them to mine Read More...

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and You

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and You If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you may have missed the Cambridge Analytica story that broke in mid-March. The controversy has certainly helped highlight data-privacy issues, like who has Read More...

Atlanta Hit with Ransomware

We usually cover the dangers of ransomware in don’t-let-cyber-criminals-hold-your-data-hostage terms. The situation in Atlanta at the end of March highlights how this type of scam can have very serious consequences. When was the city of Atlanta affected by ransomware? In Read More...

Data Breaches, New and Old

Remember the good old days when you didn’t hear about a data breach every few months? Me neither. If we can’t avoid the fact that retailers and financial institutions are going to be targets for cybercriminals, we might as well Read More...

Artificial Intelligence, Cars, and the Future of Transportation

Daydreaming about paging through a favorite book rather than actually driving your hour-long commute may seem like a passing fantasy, but we are getting much closer to that reality. Now before you get too excited, let’s pump the brakes and Read More...

3 Science Fiction Ideas that May Soon Be Science Reality

Where are the flying cars? Just thinking about typing that sentence invokes the wrath of the cliché police, but I have to admit I’m disappointed that several of science fiction’s most interesting predictions failed to materialize. Looking to fiction authors Read More...

Is Your Smart TV Secure?

We’ve all been there: it’s Friday night, and you can’t connect to Netflix. After successfully pulling up Facebook, the horror sets in: there’s a problem with Netflix. So you grudgingly settle for scrolling through your news feed, instead of binge Read More...

New Tax Scam Making the Rounds

Security Summit partners helped reduce confirmed cases of tax-related identity theft by 32 percent and taxpayer-reported incidents by 40 percent in 2017, while the financial industry helped the IRS recover 144,000 refunds. These successes have forced scammers to evolve their Read More...

GruntWorx Wins Two Categories in CPA Practice Advisor Readers’ Choice Awards

Every year, CPA Practice Advisor surveys their readers to learn what software and hardware tax professionals prefer when preparing returns. This year’s results are compiled in the recently published 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, and GruntWorx once again scored high marks Read More...

Cryptocurrency: What Does IRS Have to Say About Bitcoin?

Last week we discussed the recent crash in the cryptocurrency market, and this week we’re looking at how IRS addresses virtual currencies like Bitcoin. What does IRS have to say about Bitcoin? What is the official IRS stance regarding all Read More...

Cryptocurrency: The King is Dead, or Is It?

There’s much being said about Bitcoin’s dip in value last month. The chatter might make you ask if cryptocurrency really is just a fad that will fizzle like the Dot-com bubble or if there is long-term value in its emergent Read More...

Gone Phishing

Let’s get the old news out of the way: tax season starts on January 29, 2018. Now, before you start blowing a sad-sounding slide whistle to lament having a week less than last year, let’s think about the silver lining: Read More...

Data Breach, Security Risk Helps Ring in the New Year

We made it through another year with aplomb—or at least that’s what we tell ourselves after making another successful orbit around the Sun. Rather than doing a “the year that was,” we’ve decided to instead examine “the weeks that just Read More...

GruntWorx Successfully Completes SSAE 18 Type 2 SOC 1 Examination

What happened? GruntWorx successfully completed the AICPA’s Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements Number 18 (SSAE 18) Type 2 SOC 1 examination that was administered by an independent CPA firm, Schellman & Company, LLC. SSAE 18 a new standard involving Read More...

Protecting Your Data When Holiday Shopping

There may not be crowds of people swarming malls for Black Friday deals like schools of piranha, but there is still plenty of holiday shopping to be done—especially if you’re a last minute shopper. Many stores are extending online and Read More...

You Should Use Multi-Factor Authentication

The Security Summit wants to help you protect your data Since the IRS, state tax agencies, and the tax industry banded together in 2015 to form the Security Summit, data security has been a primary topic for tax professionals. That’s Read More...

You Probably Need to Patch a Wi-Fi Security Vulnerability

What is WPA2? Many routers, including my own, utilize the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocol to protect wireless local area network communications. Depending on your level of familiarity with adjusting router settings—or the number of times you’ve been Read More...

Improving Your Passwords

Protecting your data should be a top priority Tax season is getting closer, which means installing current-year tax preparation software and—inevitably—being prompted to create a new login password. What’s a bad password? It turns out that “password” isn’t a good Read More...

Stop Using Email to Transfer Sensitive Documents

Standard email services aren’t the most secure platforms for exchanging sensitive tax information with a client. In other news, water is wet. The increasing frequency of security breaches and an emphasis on transitioning to a paperless office highlights the importance Read More...

Dealing with the Equifax Data Breach

Another day—another data breach. Back in September, the Equifax data breach was briefly the top news story. It affected roughly one half of the taxpaying adults in the United States—around 145 million by recent estimates—providing cybercriminals with sensitive financial data. Read More...

The Blockchain, Not Just Part of Bitcoin

This summer, we covered Bitcoin and its relationship to recent ransomware attacks, but today we want to briefly examine the protocol undergirding Bitcoin—the blockchain—to see why it may be more important to the financial industry than the famous digital currency. Read More...

3 Tips for Successfully Integrating a Paperless Solution

Whether you’re a solo practitioner or a member of a large firm, you know there’s still truth in the cliché, “time equals money.” Maximizing efficiency is vital to your tax office’s bottom line, and that’s why everyone keeps looking for Read More...

Mobile Security Tips

By the time you read this blog, it’s likely that you’ve seen at least one or two stories in your Google Alerts concerning data security. In fact, we just finished a series of posts related to ransomware that included several Read More...

Bitcoin, Meet Bitcoin Cash

In our three-part series, “Understanding Ransomware,” we discussed three topics related to recent ransomware scams: attack prevention, victims’ response, and cybercriminals’ preferred payment method. Published in late July, the article covering payment briefly explained how Bitcoin works and why ransomware Read More...

Understanding Ransomware: Dealing with an Attack

Tax professionals are not strangers to phishing scams, and one of the most malicious varieties has seen an uptick in activity. Today we’re wrapping up the final entry in our three part series about ransomware, which will cover what to Read More...

Understanding Ransomware: Preventing an Attack

The second in a three-part series inspired by recent ransomware attacks, this blog will focus on easy steps you can take to prevent a ransomware attack. To provide some perspective, we interviewed a few IT professionals. But before we dive Read More...

Understanding Ransomware: The Bitcoin

In the wake of another ransomware attack that at times asks victims to submit payment in the form of the digital currency Bitcoin, we decided to create a three-part series that 1) examines digital currencies, 2) discusses how to protect Read More...

Need Help Implementing GruntWorx at your Tax Office?

If you’ve been thinking of trying GruntWorx but aren’t sure how to begin, we have the perfect white paper for you. “A Tale of Two Firms: Identifying the Rules for Rolling Out a Successful Paperless Tax Workflow” is a case Read More...

Spreadsheets, Automation, and Changing the Future

Remember back in May when I said I am a fan of podcasts? Well, today’s blog is inspired by another one. Planet Money is an entertaining, business-focused podcast that covers myriad topics: presidential budgets, trademarks, slot machines, and—what I want Read More...

Electronic Payments to Replace Check Payments for Letter Rulings

Clients looking to request letter ruling, closing agreements, and some other rulings from the Internal Revenue Service will be able to submit user fee payments online starting June 15. According to an IRS release last week, this change marks the Read More...

Last Call for Tax Forum Early Bird Discount

Undoubtedly, tax professionals across the country are making plans to attend the annual IRS Tax Forums, a series of live events offering tax professionals the opportunity to communicate with IRS representatives in person concerning federal and state tax issues. The Read More...

Memorial Day Reminder: IRS E-Services will be Down for Maintenance

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that it will again be performing its annual Memorial Day systems maintenance. The IRS will take down its E-Services Transcript Delivery System, TIN Matching, e-file, and ACA applications on Friday, May 26 at 6:00 Read More...

Breaking Down Tax Prep

It should come as no surprise that we’re fans of technology around here. And one of my personal favorite podcasts, Science Friday, has a series called Science Friday Spoonfuls: contemporary science stories tailored for classroom use. While scrolling through various Read More...

When the IRS Comes Knocking

Another tax season has come and gone, and, inevitably, that means there are people who missed the deadline. You have undoubtedly advised clients who missed the deadline about late-filing and late-payment penalties and the interest that will be due on Read More...

100 Million Down 40 Million to Go

40 Million Taxpayers Have Yet to File t Tuesday marks the end of another tax season, and that means most tax professionals are currently in the midst of their busiest time of year. The IRS is even keeping their customer Read More...

IRS Extends Customer Service Call Hours

IRS Call Centers Open on Saturday We’re in the home stretch of tax season and that generally means those last-minute filers are coming out of the woodwork to get their returns sent to the IRS in time. While this can Read More...

IRS Provides Guidance for New Research Credit Option

The Internal Revenue Service last Thursday provided interim guidance for small businesses looking to take advantage of the new option for claiming the research credit. The December 2015 Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act – aside from requiring the Read More...

Crossing the Digital Divide with Your Tax Practice

If we take the Pew Research Center’s word for it, I qualify as a millennial – what many think of as a “digital native.” Despite that label, I remember flipping through the card catalogue for research papers before my family Read More...

IRS’s 2017 “Dirty Dozen”

Scams Include Tax-Related ID Theft, Tax Shelters Each year, the IRS releases their list of the “Dirty Dozen” scams to inform taxpayers about criminals who hope to capitalize on a busy, stressful time of year for tax professionals and their Read More...

IRS Issues Refund Reminder

As part of the Avoid the Rush tax tip series, the IRS yesterday reminded taxpayers about Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refund delays. In addition to how weekends and Presidents Day fall on the Read More...

Tax Pros Vote GruntWorx #1 in CPA Practice Advisor Readers’ Choice Awards

CPA Practice Advisor today announced the results of their 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, a survey that asks readers to rate tax software and hardware. GruntWorx won for the following categories: Specialty Systems Tax Prep Tool This category is dedicated to Read More...

Security Summit to Tax Preparers: Monitor EFIN Activity

The Internal Revenue Service released yet another tax tip as part of the Security Summit’s Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself initiative this week, this time highlighting another way for tax professionals to spot signs of Read More...

“Taxes. Security. Together” Campaign Provides Taxpayers Tips for Spotting Tax-Related Identity Theft

Click here to view GruntWorx Job Opportunities Tax professionals around the country are preparing for the start of filing season on January 23: learning the updates to their tax software, reviewing changes to tax law, training seasonal staff, and – Read More...

IRS Releases Information on Developing a Data Security Plan for Tax Professionals

Cybercriminals have been busy for the past few years. They have increasingly targeted taxpayers and tax professionals alike with phishing scams and other types of tax-related fraud. While the Security Summit – a partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies, Read More...

Planning Ahead for Health Care-Related Tax

The Internal Revenue Service this week suggested that taxpayers consider checking their eligibility for health care-related tax exemptions. Taxpayers who plan their finances around a refund check may be better able to budget during tax season by researching their options Read More...

IRS Announces the First Day of Tax Season, Issues Refund Delay Reminder

Tax professionals across the country are gearing up for tax season, which the Internal Revenue Service today announced will officially begin on January 23, 2017. The press release included yet another reminder about PATH Act-delayed refunds: taxpayers claiming the Earned Read More...

National Tax Security Awareness Week

“National Tax Security Awareness Week” to Provide Ways to Keep Data Secure Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, and Security Summit partners hope “National Tax Security Awareness Week” will help taxpayers avoid identity thieves’ scams by providing consumer Read More...

Taxpayers Receiving Advance Payment of Premium Tax Credit (PTC) Must File ASAP to Maintain PTC Eligibility

Any taxpayers who haven’t filed a federal tax return but received an advance PTC payment in 2015 are likely see a letter from the Internal Revenue Service very soon. The IRS issued a health care tax tip last week reminding Read More...

IRS to Taxpayers: New Factors Could Change Your Withholding

Due to a tax law requiring the Internal Revenue Service hold on to returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the agency this week recommended taxpayers perform a “mid-year checkup” for their tax Read More...

Attention Truckers: Don’t Forget the Form 2290 Deadline!

If any of your clients are big-rig truckers, then Friday’s deadline reminder from the IRS applies directly to them. Vehicles at or above 55,000 pounds of taxable gross weight require Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return – which Read More...

Helping Clients Get a Tax Transcript

One of the latest “Summertime Tax Tips” from the IRS included information about requesting a transcript or copy of the prior-year tax return. Aside from using these tax records to file for home or business loans, they are particularly relevant Read More...

IRS: PTC Payment Recipients Should Report Changes in Income or Family Size

The IRS this week issued a reminder to taxpayers who receive premium tax credit (PTC) advance payments, noting that some circumstance changes could result in the household owing additional money next April. A number of circumstances can result in a Read More...

IRS Says Security Summit Yields Positive Results

On June 28, private- and public-sector tax administration leaders met to review what had been accomplished in 2016 and plan for next year, concluding that the Security Summit’s past efforts reduced the number of would-be victims. The 2016 protocols included Read More...

Child Day Care Expenses May Qualify for a Tax Credit

June is almost over, and for many working parents that means their children have been enrolled in a summer day camp for the past few months. Summer camps come in all shapes and sizes – some focus on athletic activities Read More...

IRS Reminds Taxpayers of June 30 Deadline

We’re halfway through June, and the IRS wants to make sure that the deadline for some foreign accounts isn’t forgotten while everyone is planning their July 4 festivities. Today they issued information about two important forms that will be due Read More...

Online Tools Estimate ACA-Related Tax Liability

The IRS yesterday issued a reminder about the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). TaxpayerAdvocate.IRS.gov has several available tools to help estimate ACA-related credits and payments for, which the IRS email divided into two categories: employers and individuals. TAS provides two employer-specific Read More...

IRS’s “Get Transcript Online” Program to Enter Beta Testing Soon

In line with the IRS’s Future State goal of broadening online customer service options, the IRS recently announced that new authentication and access measures for Get Transcript will soon enter beta testing. This announcement comes almost one full year after Read More...

The IRS Recommends Getting a “PTC Check-Up”

This Wednesday marks one full month since the end of tax season for the majority of the country, and that means that many tax professionals are returning from a well-deserved vacation. Even for those who haven’t had a chance to Read More...

GruntWorx Wins Again in 2016

Last week CPA Practice Advisor announced the results of their 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards, which asked readers to rate the tax software-related programs and hardware they rely on during the frenetic days of filing season. The survey featured more than Read More...

Gruntworx, LLC Completes SSAE 16 Type II Examination

Gruntworx, LLC, a Drake Enterprises company and leader in SaaS-based paperless tax workflow systems, today announced that it has completed its annual Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No.16 examination. The 2014 SSAE 16 report was compiled by the Read More...

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