IRS Releases “Dirty Dozen” Scam List

February 22nd, 2016

The exclusive purpose for the information which is provided from this website is to disseminate information, and not to provide tax advice. 

There have been several posts on this same subject on this website.  While there is not a duplication of information that is being presented, there is often new and different information that should be shared via the Internet.  Supporting rationale for this decision include, but are not limited to:

1.  The “scammers” are using a multitude of different tactics with different degrees of “success” (from their perspective) for each of over twelve different methods in terms of both the resulting financial and emotional pain that is experienced or incurred by their taxpayer victims;

2.  The information and knowledge that is required to defeat these “scammers” has not reached many of the American taxpayers who need to have it.  If this were the case, their “success rate” would be near 0%;

3.  I am continuing to read of more instances of these scamming techniques being utilized in both the social media and the news media reports from the Internet;

4.  I am on the distribution list for information and tax updates e-mails from the Internal Revenue Service.  I am continuing to receive more e-mails on this same subject which has led me to conclude that the IRS also considers this to be an on-going, contemporary problem for many taxpayers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Bill Seabrooke

Is It Time For You To Finally Start Working With A Tax Preparer?

January 26th, 2016

The exclusive purpose for the information which is provided from this website is to disseminate information, and not to provide tax advice. 

You have no doubt recently read information about the declining levels of support that is being provided by the Internal Revenue Service.  The U.S. Congress has reduced their budget significantly and the IRS has decided to reduce their number of staff, professionals, and support personnel.  Insofar as “support” is concerned, this is probably most apparent in our inability to speak with a representative using the “1-800″ number to obtain answers to our tax questions, or the length of time that we are required to remain “on hold” in the telephone queue.  In stark contrast to the realties of this situation, I have found no authoritative source that has gone on record to state that the IRS has reduced their level of  required compliance with all of the tax laws nor has their been an increase in the number of allowable errors or omissions in a tax return.  The allowable error rate remains at ZERO!

In addition to the above facts, taxpayers are being subjected to (this is not a complete list) fraudulent activities such as tax scams, phishing, persons impersonating charitable organizations, persons claims to obtain free money for you from the IRS, tax return preparer fraud, threatening telephone calls, someone fraudulently filing your own tax return for you and obtaining your tax refund, fraudulent e-mails that appear to be authentic with malware or virus laden attachments, identity theft, telephone calls with phony arguments, and others calling you to inform you that you owe the IRS delinquent taxes and that your property will be seized today if you do not pay them immediately.

The IRS has always utilized the U. S. Postal service to provide you with your written initial notification that there are issue(s) with your income tax return.  They do not use the Internet nor do they use e-mails.  Period!

Given the above facts and information, there are several different groups in which most taxpayers can be classified:

1.  You are not required by law to file a tax return.  However, you may file as an option to recover Federal or state income taxes that have been withheld, or a tax refund for which you are legally due (refundable tax credits);

2.  You are required to file a tax return but you have a relatively simple tax situation.  You can file your own tax return yourself using the IRS’s “Free File” (or similar) system;

3.  You have been filing your own tax returns in the past but you have determined that you will need some (or a significant level of ) assistance in filing your tax returns now;

4.  You are already working with an Enrolled Agent,  tax attorney, or CPA.

If you now consider yourself to be in group or category #3 above, the following information may be beneficial for you:  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Bill Seabrooke

New Tax Return Safeguard Strategies For 2015 & 2016

January 19th, 2016

The exclusive purpose for the information which is provided from this website is to disseminate information, and not to provide tax advice. 

Both the individual states and the Internal Revenue Service have implemented new safeguards, standards, and preventive measures to both detect and prevent (from even occurring) tax return filing fraud.  At the state levels. some (but not all) states have begun to require that your driver’s license information be submitted electronically with your tax return – the issuing state, the driver’s license number, the date of issue, and the expiration date.  This information will be compared with the information in your tax return to use to detect whether or not a fraudulent tax return has been filed.  This is NOT the only preventive tool that will be used by the taxing authorities.  Your tax return software will remind you if this information is now required by your state.

Insofar as the IRS is concerned:  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Bill Seabrooke

Winning The “War” Against Tax Scammers!

January 19th, 2016

The exclusive purpose for the information which is provided from this website is to disseminate information, and not to provide tax advice. 

There exists a multitude of methods to communicate with each other within the United States, and the world for that matter.  Some (myself included) would argue that we have lost our effectiveness in communicating verbally with each other, and with other members of our family.  Another  facet of this situation has evolved from others, with both fraudulent and criminal intentions, who seek to take advantage of technology to prey upon others for their own financial gain.  In many instances, they are successful.  Unfortunately, this also imposes a huge toll on the victims in terms of both financial losses, and emotional pain and suffering.  In my opinion, both can last years in duration.

The effects are compounded by the state of our global environment – the fact that many, many Americans do not feel secure or safe.  A recent report stated that the number is higher than 70%.  Anonymous (difficult to track or identify the source) communications are pervasive.  Many American use e-mails on a regular basis.  We provide our e-mail address to sellers, suppliers, contacts etc. on a regular basis.  These parties sell that information to other sources for their own financial gain.  The information is probably re-sold to other firms.  Our personal information and data is stored for years by entities with whom we have relationships – banks, retailers, the U.S. Government, financial institutions, credit card companies, etc.  Their security systems are susceptible to being penetrated (“hacked”) and the information is captured and used fraudulently by criminals.

The contacts which you will eventually encounter include, but are not limited to: threats (may be written or oral), “phishing”, “hostage” capture of your PC and data, “Trojan Horses”, identity theft, malware, viruses, fraudulent telephone calls, “hacking” etc.  In the past several years there has been a continuous year-over-year increase in the number of serious telephone scams.  The script can be one of several forms (i.e. from the IRS or from someone claiming to be from the police or hospital stating that your son or daughter has been in an accident and is near death, or that you have an unpaid claim from  someone who has now taken legal action against you, etc.)

This post is related to those which are related to situations in which the fraudster is claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (Federal or state).  The caller’s goal is to intimidate you and to escalate the tenor of the call to the point at which you believe all, or most of the statements that have been made to you, and you are willing to cooperate fully with the caller.  Their ultimate goal is to have you provide them with financial information that they will use to commit their fraud.

While I can not speak for all state taxing authorities within the United States, rest assured, the IRS will always initially communicate with you in writing.  Always ignore these fraudulent calls.  If you don’t know what to do, call 911, your CPA, your attorney, or a trusted friend or relative.

Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

 

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts

 

Posted by Bill Seabrooke