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Smith Dickson

September 2017

Protecting Yourself after Equifax Credit Breach

In light of the highly publicized Equifax data breach, a number of our clients have asked what they should be doing to protect themselves from potential identity theft. Our Director of Taxation, Kelly Campbell, has prepared the following suggestions for your consideration:

  1. Sign up for a credit monitoring service. Credit Karma is a free service that you can sign up for on-line with the following link: https://www.creditkarma.com/
  2. Don't sign up for the credit protection that Equifax is offering as the coverage is limited to one year and may limit your ability to recover future losses from them.
  3. Place a credit freeze on all three of the credit bureau files. You can do this with the following links:
  1. Place a fraud alert on your credit file. This only lasts for 90 days so you will need to renew it every 90 days. You only need to place the alert with one of the credit bureaus and they will notify the other two. You can access the TransUnion fraud alert system with this link: https://www.transunion.com/fraud-victim-resource/place-fraud-alert
  2. Sign up for "Identity Theft Insurance." There are several companies that offer this coverage. Perhaps the most valuable feature is recovery assistance if your personal information is compromised. One of the better options on the market is IDShield, as they have dedicated licensed private investigators on staff that assist with credit restoration in the event of identiy theft. You can sign up with the following link (make sure to add all accounts and information you want monitored): https://www.idshield.com
  3. Opt out of pre-approved credit offers to eliminate the possibility of identity thieves intercepting these offers of new credit. To opt out for five years you can call 1-888-567-8688 or visit the following website: www.optoutprescreen.com. To opt out permanently, you will have to submit a signed election form via the mail. You can start the process with the above link.

If you have any questions, please call our office.


Smith Dickson sponsors - and wins - Bocce Invitational charity event!

Bocce team photoSmith Dickson was proud to sponsor the recent 6th Annual Bocce Invitational to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. The event, held at IL Fornaio restaurant in Irvine, was attended by approximately 175 Orange County business leaders and raised thousands of dollars for the organization.

Most of our Smith Dickson team was able to attend and support the event, with many even playing a few games of Bocce! To our surprise, we won! It was great fun, and we enjoyed supporting such a worthwhile cause.

See more photos of this fun event!


New Form I-9: Are You in Compliance?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers must ensure completion of Form I-9, which is used to verify your employee's identity and employment authorization. The form must be completed for each person hired after November 6, 1986.

Failure to comply with Form I-9 employment verification requirements (including completing and retaining Form I-9 correctly) can be costly for an employer. These may include civil fines, criminal penalties (when there is a pattern or practice of violations), and debarment from government contracts, among other penalties.

What the revised form means for employers

  • Effective September 18, 2017, employers must begin using the newly revised Form I-9 (dated 7/17/17 N)
  • Employers may continue to use the current Form I-9 (dated 7/17/16 N) through September 17, 2017
  • For current employees, if a properly completed Form I-9 is on file, it is not necessary to prepare a new Form I-9

Summary of Form I-9 revisions

  • Minor updates made to instructions
  • Changes made to the List of Acceptable Documents (List C)
  • Updates were made to the Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274)

See https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/ for the updated Form I-9, instructions and the Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9.


Tax Calendar

Smith Dickson is pleased to provide our year-round "Tax Calendar" available on our website. Reference it for key dates for individuals, businesses (of all types), employers, and estates/fiduciaries.

Some of the important upcoming dates:

  • Oct. 15: Individuals — Tax deadline for extensions
  • Oct. 31: Employers — Form 941 due

Be sure to contact us to discuss your tax questions and needs.


ABOUT SMITH DICKSON

Smith Dickson is a full-service Southern California CPA firm that specializes in providing high-quality services designed to create long-term value for our clients. Our services include accounting, tax compliance and planning, litigation support, business consulting, and estate/trust tax compliance. Please contact us with your questions.

Copyright © 2017 Smith Dickson, an Accountancy Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
18100 Von Karman Ave #420 | Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 553-1020

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