GruntWorx Blog

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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“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 –

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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