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PHOENIX - - The IRS has joined in an historic partnership with state revenue departments and the entire tax industry to redouble efforts to battle identity theft related to tax returns. While identity thieves are constantly changing their tactics, the states, industry and the IRS are taking new steps to battle this issue, and also calling on taxpayers to take additional steps to secure their information.

The new public awareness campaign - "Taxes. Security. Together." - being announced is the next stage of the Security Summit effort and provides important tips and reminders to taxpayers who are central to efforts to keep their information safe.

Reporters who would like to attend in person should e-mail Bill Brunson, IRS Media Relations at william.e.brunson@irs.gov or call him at 602-636-9595. Please plan to be at the building no later than 11:15 am.

Reporters wishing to participate via our media conference line should register for the call by e-mailing Bill Brunson, IRS Media Relations at: william.e.brunson@irs.gov or calling him at 602-636-9595, at which point they will be supplied a call-in number and code.

Media on the conference line will be in listen-only mode. For members of the media not in attendance yet wishing to speak with a particular Tax Commissioner following the press conference, both the IRS and FTA will help facilitate possible interviews. Contact IRS National Media Relations for additional assistance at 202-317-4000.

Who: 17 Tax Commissioners from across the country will be present representing New York, Vermont, Missouri, Washington, DC, Rhode Island, Alabama, Connecticut, New Mexico, South Carolina , Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Colorado, Virginia and California.

Speakers will include:

  • IRS Commissioner John Koskinen;
  • David Sullivan, Tax Administrator for the State of Rhode Island and immediate past President of the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA);
  • Julie Magee, State Revenue Commissioner of Alabama;
  • Kevin Sullivan, Connecticut Commissioner of Revenue Services;
  • Kathy Pickering, H&R Block;
  • Bernie McKay, Intuit; and
  • Daniel Eubanks, TaxSlayer.

What: "Taxes. Security. Together." New Taxpayer Awareness Campaign Announcement.

When: Thursday, Nov. 19, at 11:30 a.m. - press conference

Where:

Federation of Tax Administrators Headquarters
Hall of the States
444 N. Capitol St, NW - room 285
FTA may be reached directly at 202-624-8443

Note: You will need to show an ID at the lobby guard desk to get a day pass to the building. Please allow an extra minute or two for this process. Someone will be in the lobby to direct you to the elevators.

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Editor's Note

Mary Alice tried out a different format for reporting the lengthy County Commission preliminary budget hearing. Instead of traditional narrative sentences, to do it more quickly and efficiently, she put the name of each speaker before a paraphrased version of their comments. Questions were not necessarily asked by the speaker, but they were answered by the one replying. Please let editor@grantcountybeat.com know if you love, hate or are indifferent about the format. It may lead to how some reports are written henceforth in order to get them out in a more timely manner.

Mary Alice is back, but on slow-mo, trying to catch up with all that didn't get done before she had to leave. And doing everything that happened after she got back! Working on it

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New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include one about end of life options, Compassionate Care.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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