QuickBooks Class at Fayette Chamber

QB LogoLoggins Kern & McCombs is happy to announce that we are now offering QuickBooks classes at the Fayette County Chamber in Fayetteville.  QuickBooks software helps small business owners save time and money by organizing all business finances in one place. The course covers the basics of the desktop version of QuickBooks such as creating a new company file, accounts payable, accounts receivable, banking and reconciliation.  This class is taught by a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor with over 18 years teaching experience.

QuickBooks-ClassPricing:

Fayette County Chamber Members
$150 / $75 each additional from the same company

Non-Members
$200 / $100 each additional from the same company

Next Class:

Date:  August 26, 2015.
Time:  10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Includes 30 minutes with box lunch included.

Location:

Fayette County Chamber of Commerce
600 West Lanier Avenue, Suite 205
Fayetteville, Georgia  30214

To Register:

Call Pam Burnett at 770-478-7424

 

 

 

 

 

There’s an Updated App for That

irs2go_phonev2

The latest version of the IRS2Go app is now available.  This version has a brand new look and feel with new added feature.  “The new version of IRS2Go provides taxpayers another way to quickly get information and help around the clock,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS is focused on providing taxpayers with convenient self-service tools like IRS2Go, which provides details on everything from tax refunds to free tax assistance.” [Read more…]

Avoiding Phony IRS Websites

Phony IRS Email

 Have you ever received an email from a family member, friend, or a company asking for personal or financial information? You may have been targeted by a growing type of cyber-attack known as phishing. Phishing emails or websites disguise themselves as legitimate ones and try to steal a victim’s money or identity. Even the Internal Revenue Service is subject to impersonators in these kinds of scams.

The IRS is issuing a warning about a new tax scam that uses a website that mimics the IRS e-Services online registration page. The actual IRS e-Services page offers web-based products for tax preparers, not the general public. The phony web page looks almost identical to the real one.

The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Don’t be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov.

Be aware that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.

 If you find a suspicious website that claims to be the IRS, send the site’s URL by email to phishing@irs.gov. Use the subject line, ‘Suspicious website’. If you get an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS, report it by sending it to phishing@irs.gov.

How to safeguard your tax records

hat tip to xkcd.

The upcoming hurricane season may not be the only reason that you need to safeguard your tax records.  There are many good reasons for making sure that your tax records, as well as all of your other important papers, are safeguarded properly.

The last thing you want to worry about during a time like that is the IRS, so here are some steps for your peace of mind: [Read more…]

IRS2Go 2.0

The IRS has announced the availability of IRS2Go 2.0, which is an expanded version of its smartphone application we told you about here.  The app is now designed to provide taxpayers easier access to practical tools and information.  The new app is available for Apple and Android devices and is free.

 

New Features:

Tax Information Needed within 30 days!!!

We’ve had some clients get an email that looks like the one below.  This is a spam email — if you get it, just delete it and do not click on the link.  Here is a page from Intuit (the REAL Intuit) about this email.  If Intuit wants information from you, then they’ll ask you to log in to your account or go through QuickBooks to provide the information. [Read more…]

Top 10 Worst Passwords

Identity Theft – sends shivers down most spines.  Did you know that using the wrong password could make it easier for hackers to steal your identity.  Hackers are the bad guys who use your computer and/or online accounts to steal from you.  A recent study revealed that in 32 million instances of successful hacking, the following passwords were used.   First take a look at these top 10 worst passwords, then keep reading to find out how to make smarter passwords.  Just like in home security, if the target is too difficult, the thieves will move on to the next one.  Make yours harder to break into than your neighbors. [Read more…]

IRS launches IRS2Go Apps

The Internal Revenue Service has unveiled IRS2Go, its first smartphone application that lets taxpayers check on the status of their tax refund and obtain helpful tax information.  “This new smartphone app reflects our commitment to modernizing the agency and engaging taxpayers where they want, when they want it,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.  “As technology evolves and younger taxpayers get their information in new ways, we will keep innovating to make it easy for all taxpayers to access helpful information.”

 Apple users can download the free IRS2Go application by visiting the Apple App Store.  Android users can visit the Android Marketplace to download the free IRS2Go app.  “This phone app is a first for us,” Shulman said.  “We will look for additional ways to expand and refine our use of smartphones and other new technologies to help meet the needs of taxpayers.”

Connect with the IRS
In addition to the mobile app, IRS2Go, the IRS uses social media tools to share the latest information on tax changes, initiatives, products and services.

 The IRS participates on the following social media platforms, including:

Click to View IRS VideosYouTube:  The IRS has video channels that provide short, informative videos on various tax related topics in English, American Sign Language (ASL) and a variety of foreign languages.

 

Click to Follow IRSTwitter:  IRS tweets to share timely information with taxpayers including tax tips, tax law changes and important IRS programs such as e-file, tax credits and “Where’s My Refund”.

 

Click to Like the IRSFacebook:  The IRS has Facebook pages that post valuable tax information for tax professionals and those needing help in resolving long standing issues with the IRS.

 

iTunes:  Audio podcasts that provide useful information on one tax related topic are available on iTunes, as well as in the Multimedia Center on the IRS website.

Smartphone Apps – Staff Picks for August

Top Smartphone Apps for August – According to Loggins Staff Members

By now you have problably realized that a cellphone is not just a phone anymore; it is a “device”.  A device that is both fun and beneficial due the wide (and increasingly growing) variety of “apps” available.  I asked the staff here at Loggins to share their favorite apps.  Since there is no end in sight for the introduction fo new apps, be on the lookout for next month’s top picks!

Apps are to the smartphone what software is to the computer.  They can be for fun, business, productivity, news and almost anything.  There are apps that are free.  There are also paid apps that range anywhere from 99¢ to $5, $10 and up.   If you want the most expensive app, you need to shell out $12,500 so your smartphone can connect to your on-board communications system of your private jet.  As a general rule, the free apps (generally referred to as “lite”) have either limited functions or advertisement banners.  The paid version (also known as “pro”) include additional features without the ads.

Apps can save you time, money and provide you with hours of entertainment.  Everyone has their favorites, and that list is ever-changing as newer and better apps are introduced everyday.  Here are this month’s picks from our staff:

Ask Dave Ramsey – If you’re looking for financial advice, this app tells you “what would Dave do” with advice from real-life calls from Dave’s radio show.  The app is free for both iPhone and Droid.

 

Runtastic – GPS outdoor and indoor tracking app for fitness (running, biking, strength training, etc).  It’s like your all-in-one exercise assistant.  Available for Blackberry, iPhone, Android & Windows Phone.  Lite version allows you to track distance, time, speed; display your route, and share your sports activities on social media sites such as Facebook.  The Pro version retails at $5.99 and gives you voice feedback, heart rate monitoring and other cool features.

GasBuddy – Find the cheapest gas on the go – for free!  This app gives you the option to find gas stations near you then sort by distance or price.  You can also report gas prices for stations you see and earn points to register a free gas give-away each week.  Available for all smartphones.

Bookworm – Word game app that features a library-bound worm named “Lex” who munches up connected letter tiles to form words.  Sounds easy except for the addition of red burning tiles that must be used before they reach the bottom of the screen which ends the game.  This free app is available for all smartphones.

Poynt – Free app for all smartphones!  Easy-to-use, all-in-one tool to connect you with local businesses, retailers, and events while you’re on the go.  You can search for restaurants, gas stations, movies, etc.  Then you can call them, email them, watch the trailer for the movie, get the best gas prices, and map out directions.

Key Ring – Free app that brings all those little cards (loyalty, club, membership) from your key ring and wallet into one convenient place.  It electronically stores all information and allows you to share with all smartphones in your family.  The store just scans the image on your phone instead of the card.    Available for all smartphone platforms.

Evernote – Free app that works with all smartphones and Windows PC.  You can capture, organize and share information between all electronic devices via your computer, phone and web.  You can add a note, web page, photo, screenshot.  Evernote will index everything and make it searchable so you can find anything fast.

 

Beware of the Top 3 Computer Scams

Scam #1:  Your Computer is Infected!   You’ve heard of viruses and spyware, meet their cousin, Scareware.  This threat tries to convince you that your computer is infected and convince you that you need to pay them for their “antivirus protection”.  These rogue antivirus products are one of the biggest criminal enterprises around right now!  If you see a fake alert, stop what you are doing, close your internet browser, and perform a full scan with your legitimate antivirus program.  Above all, do not give out your credit card information in an attempt to clean your computer!   The only thing that will get cleaned out is your wallet.

 

Scam #2:  Check out this Cool Link!  These days, planes are not the most likely thing to be hijacked.  Today email and Facebook accounts are the hijackers focus.  It looks like you’ve received an email from your friend that includes a link to click to view a “cool video” or some other intriguing item.  You might get an email from UPS or FedEx saying that they had trouble delivering a package and you can click the link to view the shipping receipt.  What’s really happening behind the scenes?  The link takes you to a website that will download some sort of virus or other malicious software (malware) onto your computer.

 

Scam #3:  “John Doe” wants to be your Friend!  In this case, scammers send you an email that looks like it is from a social networking site you are a member of.  It says that someone wants to be your friend, just click the link to “accept”.  Even though the email looks like the real thing, complete with logos, it could be from an imposter and the link could take you somewhere bad.  Your best bet is to delete the email, go to your internet browser and log into your social networking site.  If the friend request is legitimate, you will see it there and can accept it.

 Remember:  Scammers are constantly coming up with new and sneakier ways to get to you. Your best defense is 1) a good antivirus & anti-spamware software program, 2) update it often; new threats are added daily, and 3) set a schedule to run scans while you are sleeping on a daily or weekly basis.