Posts Tagged: ‘tax scams’

How to Spot a Real IRS Debt Collection Call from a Scam

April 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The IRS recently announced that it will be making collection calls to collect on delinquent taxes, something they maintained for years would never happen.  Not surprisingly, scammers are making the most of the opportunity.  According to the IRS, losses have mounted to more than $20,000,000, as a result of the IRS Imposter Scam.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, consider these important tips to determine if the call is real or a scam.

  • There are only four authorized firms nationwide, which include:
  1. CBE Group of Cedar Falls, Iowa;
  2. Conserve of Fairport, N.Y.;
  3. Performant of Livermore, Calif.; and
  4. Pioneer of Horseheads, N.Y.
  • If you owe taxes, only one of these firms will contact you.
  • You likely know who you are. You will not receive a call if you pay your taxes on-time and regularly. If you are delinquent in tax payments, you will receive multiple written notifications from the IRS, before your case is turned over to one of the listed debt collection firms.
  • The IRS will send a letter to notify you that your case has been turned over to one of these companies. The collection company will also send you a letter regarding their authorization to call on behalf of the IRS.
  • The company will not ask for payment to be made to them, nor will they ask for payment on a Money Card.
  • These companies will not threaten you.

If you are still unsure if you have unpaid tax debts from previous years, you can go to IRS.gov and check your account balance. If the account balance says zero that means nothing is due, and you should not be receiving calls from the IRS or one of these collection companies.

Click here to learn more on the IRS Imposter Scam.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

IRS Warns Consumers of Tax Refund Phone Scam

February 7, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Tax time often brings with it a series of scams, and this year is no different.  Thousands of consumers have already received phone calls from scammers trying to take their tax refund money.

“Before there is an arrest warrant issued, I want you or your attorney to give us a call back,” the scam caller says.

Since 2013, scams like this have conned more than 10,000 victims out of $54 million.  Know that the IRS will never call and demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.  The IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes. You will also be given the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

REMEMBER: The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. In addition, the IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment, calling the police or other enforcement action.  Being able to recognize these signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim.

Here is more information on Scams Targeting Taxpayers directly from the IRS website.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://abc7chicago.com/news/irs-warns-of-major-phone-scam/1730957/

Tax Scams on the Rise

November 25, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Tax scams are on the rise and small businesses are just as vulnerable as consumers. Authorities report that there have been a rise in calls across the country from scammers claiming to be affiliated with the Internal Revenue Service. In case you are not aware of how the tax scam works, criminals use fear and intimidation practices to coerce victims into sending them money. They basically call victims and leave a threatening voicemail message stating you have a warrant out for your arrest because of a tax violation.

Here is what you need to know to protect yourself and your business from falling prey to this scam.

Get armed with the facts. Remember that these types of scams work on fear and the victims lack of information. Verifying facts is the greatest weapon against these criminals.

Don’t be fooled by professionalism. The scammers sound professional, going as far as to provide phony IRS badge numbers and altering the caller ID numbers to appear as if the calls are coming in from an agency. They also have personal information on their victims to make the scam sound more legitimate.

These tax scams have cost around 4,550 victims more than $23 million since October 2013.  And these are just the ones who report it, many victims of scams are afraid to report the crime, which means the loss is likely much higher.

The IRS has released the following facts regarding how the agency contacts individuals.

1. The IRS does not call and demand immediate payment. The agency only calls after first sending you a bill in the mail.
2. The IRS does not demand you pay taxes without letting you question or appeal the amount you owe.
3. The IRS does not require you pay in a specified way, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. The IRS does not ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. The IRS does not threaten arrest for not paying.

If you receive calls for these types of tax scams, hang up and report it to your local law enforcement agency immediately. You can visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov to get additional information.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

The Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2015

February 12, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Aggressive phone calls top the IRS’s list of “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams of 2015.” The government has issued a warning to taxpayers- the early weeks of the filing season are when these phone scams are rampant.

Below is the complete “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams to watch out for this year:

1.) Phone scams. Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals posing as IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent months as these scam artists threaten arrest, deportation and license revocation.

2.) Phishing. Beware of fake emails or websites looking to steal your personal information. The IRS will never send you an email about a bill or refund. Even clicking on certain strange links and websites can allow scammers access to your personal information and passwords.

3.) Identity theft. Taxpayers need to be aware of the potential for identity theft, particularly around tax time and take every precaution to avoid becoming a victim.

4.) Return preparer fraud. Taxpayers need to be aware of criminals posing as tax professionals. These individuals set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams.

5.) Offshore tax avoidance. It is a bad bet to hide money and income offshore. Taxpayers need to come forward voluntarily to get their taxes and filing requirements in order with the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.

6.) Inflated refund claims. Taxpayers need to be on the lookout for anyone who promises inflated refunds. Taxpayers should avoid anyone who asks them to sign a blank return, promises a large refund before looking at their records, or charges fees based on a percentage of the refund. These scams usually target their victims through flyers, word of mouth, advertisements, community groups and even churches.

7.) Fake charities. Taxpayers should be aware of fake charitable organizations anxious for donations. Oftentimes these charities have a similar or familiar sounding name to nationally recognized organizations.

8.) Hiding income with fake documents. Hiding taxable income by filing false Form 1099s or other fake documents is a scam that taxpayers should always avoid and guard against. In the end, the taxpayer is legally responsible for what is on his or her return, regardless of who prepares the paperwork and does the filing.

9.) Abusive tax shelters. Taxpayers should steer clear of using abusive tax structures to avoid paying taxes. The IRS is committed to putting a stop to these complex tax avoidance schemes and the people behind them. When in doubt, seek a professional’s opinion.

10.) Falsifying income to claim credits. Taxpayers should avoid inventing income to fraudulently claim tax credits. Taxpayers are sometimes talked into this by scam artists. A taxpayer’s best bet is to file the most accurate return possible.

11.) Excessive claims for fuel tax credits. The fuel tax credit is not available to most taxpayers and is generally limited to “off-highway” businessuse, including use in farming. However, the IRS routinely finds taxpayers who erroneously claimed the credit to inflate their refunds.

12.) Frivolous Tax Arguments. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. Promoters of these schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims to avoid paying the taxes they owe.

Click here to read more on this story.
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/The-Internal-Revenue-Service-List-of-Dirty-Dozen-Tax-Scams-291445471.html

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

“Dirty Dozen” of 2011

March 12, 2012 Posted by kingcade

Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues a list called the “Dirty Dozen.” The “Dirty Dozen” consists of the twelve most commonly used tax scams and fraudulent tax crimes of the previous year. The IRS urges all taxpayers to use caution, due to this being the most prevalent time these scams are carried out.

Below is a list and short description of each scam.

• Identity Theft is the most common tax scam and due to evolving technology, it is quickly becoming the most complex scam for the IRS to track. Thieves are collecting personal and financial information, then proceeding to file and collect tax refunds. The IRS was able to protect $1.4 billion from being wrongfully issued in 2011, in various identity theft schemes. If a taxpayer is issued a statement that more than one return has been filed, this is a red flag and the taxpayer should contact the IRS immediately.

• Phishing is a scam that is typically carried out by the use of a fictitious e-mail account. The scam artist will create an email address that will trick taxpayers into disclosing their personal and financial information, and then use this information to collect tax refunds in their name. In some cases, the scam will claim to be the IRS or an affiliate in need of personal information. Taxpayers should be aware that the IRS would never initially approach anyone through e-mail. Such e-mails should immediately be reported to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

• Return Preparer Fraud is a commonly used tax scam. Many taxpayers use a preparer to file their tax returns and some are scammed out of their refunds due to return preparer fraud. Two common ways preparer fraud is committed is by “skimming off” the refunds belonging to taxpayers and also some preparers charge inflated fees. Starting in 2012 there is a requirement for any preparer to enter an identification number before filing another persons’ tax return, to try to reduce the potential for fraud.

• Hiding Offshore Income is a way many wealthy Americans have gotten away with tax evasion. Americans hide a large portion of their income in offshore accounts and use mostly wire transfers to access their money. Those who commit tax evasion by hiding income offshore can be charged fines and penalties and can be criminally prosecuted by the federal government. In 2009 due to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, about 30,000 Americans came forward and cleared themselves of their tax evasions.

• “Free Money” scams are typically targeted towards the lower income sector of taxpayers and the elderly. Scam artists approach taxpayers with hopes of free money due to refunds from their social security checks. These individuals are then scammed out of their own money for the services to submit these refunds, when their claims are ultimately rejected.
• Inflated Income and Expenses are another tax scam where taxpayers claim income that was not earned or they inflated the actual amount of income in order to collect a larger sum in their refund. In other cases, taxpayers falsely claim expenses to collect a refund on them.

• False Refund Forms such as a 1099 are typically filed to justify a false refund. Many taxpayers are under the impression that the government has a secret account to issue refunds for U.S. citizens if these forms are filed. This can ultimately result in penalties and criminal prosecution.

• Frivolous Arguments is a type of scheme taxpayers who owe the government large sums of money typically try to use in their court cases. Taxpayers are allowed to contest their tax obligations, but the use of false or unreasonable claims in court can result in cases being thrown out.

• Falsely Claiming Zero Wages is a tax scam used to reduce the amount of taxes the taxpayer owes.

• Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions is another scam where certain organizations claim donations of a non-cash asset at an over-valued price to ultimately collect on it.

• Disguised Corporate Ownership is a scam conducted by the formation of a third party to try and hide the ownership of the corporation. These entities are used to hide assets, income and report false deductions. Many are also used to enable money laundering.

• Misuses of Trusts are a way to evade taxes by promising a reduction of income that would be subject to tax. Some of the uses are legal however many times the IRS has found that many use this to hide assets.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.