Tablet Safety 101 – Making Your Tablet Safer for Public Use

Tax Tips are not a substitute for legal, accounting, tax, investment or other professional advice. Always consult with your trusted accounting advisor before acting upon any Tax Tip.

Tablet Safety 101 – Making Your Tablet Safer for Public Use

People are relying on tablet devices more and more every day. You use them for work and some for play. Tablets provide users with many of the benefits a laptop delivers, but in a format that’s even easier to take on the go. But, is your information safe when you use your tablet?

As with most things in life, there are things you can do to make your tablet a safer choice to use for business or pleasure while on the go.
•Install anti-virus software for your tablet device. You should only use trusted anti-virus names for this though as some savvy hackers have taken to creating fake anti-virus programs that actually install viruses on your devices.
•Be cautious when installing apps. Apps are notorious for not safeguarding your privacy.
•Enable capabilities to remotely wipe your device if it stolen and notify your provider (if applicable) right away if you have not installed those capabilities.
•Don’t click on advertisements on your tablet. Many ads automatically download viruses onto your device without your notice.
•Lock your screen when you’re not using your device.
•Don’t store log-in data on your tablet device. This makes it too easy for people who “find” your tablet to access your passwords, private, and financial information. The harder you make it for them to do, the less likely it becomes that they’ll go to the effort.
•Backup your data routinely. Some people do this daily. Depending on how often you use your tablet and what kind of data is stored on your tablet, this is a wise move to make.

The Dangers of Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi connection present very specific dangers to your tablet device. Many hackers disguise themselves as legitimate Wi-Fi connections and hang out in hot spots hoping someone will choose their connection to attempt a logging on. Once you’re connected to their device, bad things can happen. Look for secure Wi-Fi connections and be cautious when using public Wi-Fi.

It’s best to avoid it whenever possible though – especially when using your tablet for business or personal financial matters. Tablet devices are somewhat risky to use – especially for personal and financial information like reviewing tax returns or balancing your checkbook in public. However, the steps above will make your tablet safer for limited use in public.

TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER: In accordance with IRS Circular 230, any tax advice included in this communication, including attachments, is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by you or any other person or entity, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions, nor may any such advice be used to promote, market or recommend to another party any transaction or matter addressed within this communication. If you would like such advice, please contact us.
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TLC Financial, Inc. (TLC TAX) is a Minneapolis accounting firm that provides a wide variety of accounting, tax and financial management services. Our clients are located in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Midway, Minnehaha, Como Park, Summit Hill and surrounding communities.

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Small Businesses may get Letter from IRS about Credit Card Underreporting of Income

IRS Letters to Small Businesses
Credit card payment reporting affecting some

Beginning in 2012, companies that process credit card payments were required to report the gross amount of previous year payments on Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions. Form 1099-K reporting was initiated by Congress in an attempt to close the tax gap. Some businesses that use eBay, Amazon or other online providers don’t report all of their income, thus contributing to the tax gap.

Small businesses are not required to separately state the amount reported on the Form 1099-K on their tax returns. Instead, these amounts should already be reflected on the gross income line. However, the IRS will compare the amounts reported on 1099-K forms to the business’s tax return and in some cases, will send a letter to small businesses and question the possible underreporting of income.

The letter contains the header “Notification of Possible Income Underreporting.” It begins with, “Your gross receipts may be underreported.” The IRS cannot specifically suggest an amount underreported because of the possibility that credit card refunds, charge-backs or fees may be involved.

Based on the IRS’s analysis of what was reported on the tax return and what the IRS expected to see reported, you may receive one of the following four variations of the letter:

• Letter 5035 is a soft notice, which requests that the business review the information reported and file an amended return, if necessary. However, no response to the IRS is required.
• Letter 5036 contains the gross receipts reported on the tax return filed and a list of 1099-K forms filed and asks the small business to provide a written explanation of why the portion of gross receipts from credit card payments and other 1099-K reportable transactions may be higher than expected. The response is due to the IRS within 30 days from the date of the letter.
• Letter 5039 requires Form 14420, Verification of Reported Income, to be completed and returned within 30 days. Form 14420 contains:
o Verification of the accuracy of Forms 1099-K filed.
o Estimated gross sales from types of orders (online, phone, catalog), sales from gift cards and sales from lottery tickets.
o Whether or not you shared your credit card terminals and if so, with whom.
• Letter 5043 has the same basic request as Letter 5036.

If you receive one of these letters, contact us as soon as possible. In most cases, the IRS expects a response within 30 days. A failure to respond, when required, might result in a proposed assessment of additional tax or further compliance action.