Comp and benefits pros have three ways to make tax time easier on employees this spring. Work with your colleagues in payroll and accounting to publicize these conveniences—and protect workers from fraud.
• Help employees collect refunds. Who wouldn’t like an unexpected windfall? The IRS wants to reunite 99,123 taxpayers with $153.3 million in undelivered refunds from prior tax years. Help employees claim refunds they’re due by pointing them to the IRS’ “Where’s My Refund?” page at http://tinyurl.com/IRS-refund-status.
• Provide easy access to IRS forms. Since 2010, the IRS no longer routinely mails tax forms and instructions to taxpayers. Help employees get the tax documents they need by downloading the 1040 family of forms and instructions (http://tinyurl.com/1040-forms) to a spare computer workstation. Tell employees they’re free to use the computer to print out the documents.
• Warn workers about tax scams. Most employees will be due tax refunds. And that’s perfect bait for “phishers”—online con artists who set up phony websites that look like the IRS website or send bogus emails to taxpayers about their refunds. The key difference: Phishers try to scam employees into giving up their names and Social Security numbers. Remind employees that the IRS never contacts taxpayers via email.
Tip: Include this information on paystubs, or disseminate it via your intranet or an all-staff email blast.