Volz CPA, Inc. Newsletter
August 2016


Schools are back in session, so leaf raking can't be far behind. But first we have business income tax returns (1120 & 1065) with extensions which are due 09/15 and extended 1040s due 10/17. So, we are still busy, busy, busy.


Internet Safety Tips
In today's world, we can share information across the world in an instant. The internet has changed the way business is done, and online banking is no exception. Online purchases, payments and electronic transfers are now standard ways people transact online. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have kept pace by developing new schemes to steal personal data and exploit the innocent.
Here are a few ways you can proactively help to prevent fraud and keep your information safe:
  •  Verify the security of a website before entering your information. Check if the website is legitimate by looking closely at the address bar at the top of your web browser page, noting if it is colored green. Or alternatively, locate the symbol in the address bar that looks like a lock, which indicates that you are on a secure website. Furthermore, when you are on a secure website, you should read "https" at the start of the web address. This specifically indicates that any information sent through the site is protected and not vulnerable to being intercepted. If you do not find an "s" following "http," do not enter your personal information. 
  •  Only download banking apps that are affiliated with your bank. Always be sure you are using the application that is provided by your financial institution and not a third party. To help avoid personal information leaking or falling into an online scam, download the official app and login to online banking via entry points found on the official website. Furthermore, do not save your credentials on any device that is not completely private, and always remember to log out.
  • Instead of creating a 'password,' create a 'passphrase.' There is a lot of excellent advice for creating strong passwords that are not easily cracked, such as using numbers and special symbols. Other password standards advise users to make passwords based on a phrase using the first letter of each word, perhaps taken from a memorable quote, or a song lyric. When the password length permits, we recommend using an entire secret phrase to add another layer of complexity. A security passphrase of 15 characters or more is far stronger, as it can often defeat a password guesser or cracker and is often considered good protection for up to a year.
  • Two-factor authentication. Another way to be certain that your information is securely stored is to use two-factor authentication. An example of this is verifying your account by having a passcode sent to your private email account or your mobile device. While it may take extra time to complete the initial login, you can rest assured that your account is only being accessed by authorized individuals.
If you follow these tips and always remain skeptical of entering your personal information, these good habits can help to keep your identity private and finances safe and secure.
Get Your Free Credit Reports
You should check your credit reports at least once a year to make sure that your identity has not been compromised by fraudsters. You can get your free credit reports once every 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com . There are three credit agencies which provide reports: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You can get all three reports at one time or spread them out over the year so you can get one of the reports every 4 months on a staggered basis.
Electronic Payments of 1040 Taxes Available Through the IRS Website
Use IRS Direct Pay to pay your taxes or pay your estimated tax directly from your checking or savings account. Direct Pay is safe, easy and free. This tool walks you through five simple steps to pay your tax in a single online session. You can also use Direct Pay with the IRS2Go mobile app.
Keep an eye out in your mail for our 2016 TaxesComplete Membership mailing which is going out in the beginning of September. And it's time to start practicing your chanting - Who Dey!! Who Dey!! Who Dey!!


James A. Volz, CPA
VolzCPA, Inc.

9900 Carver Road Suite 100   
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242
Phone: 513-794-1551   Fax: 513-794-1552
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