March 17, 2012
The IRS has provided nine useful tips to help taxpayers avoid an emerging tax scheme. This new scam tempts senior citizens and other taxpayers to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds. These schemes promise refunds to people who have little or no income and normally don’t have a tax filing requirement.
Promoters claim that they can obtain a tax refund or nonexistent stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit—even if the victim was not enrolled in or paying for college. A variation of this scheme claims the college credit is available to compensate people for paying taxes on groceries.
These schemes can be quite costly for victims. Promoters may charge exorbitant upfront fees to file claims, and they often disappear once a victim discovers that they have been scammed. The following are seven informative tips to help you identify and avoid such activity. Taxpayers should look for:
Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on false statements of entitlement to tax credits.
Unfamiliar for-profit tax services selling refund and credit schemes to the membership of local churches.
Internet solicitations that direct individuals to toll-free numbers and then solicit social security numbers.
Homemade flyers and brochures implying that credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.
Offers of free money with no documentation required.
Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.”
Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or for economic stimulus payments.
Unsolicited offers to prepare a return and split the refund.
Unfamiliar return preparation firms soliciting business from cities outside of the normal business or commuting area.
To get the real facts on education-related tax benefits, visit the “Tax Benefits for Education Information Center” on the IRS.gov website.
Contact our firm with questions or concerns.
It’s hard to believe that we are already into July. Even with the deadline for filing your return and making a payment (if you owe) being extended to July 15, 2020, it still seemed like it came upon us fast. With only a few weeks left, be sure to get any final documents to us and answer any outstanding communications immediately.
New gardeners have come out of the woodwork this year, looking to create a sustainable food supply in their own backyards. Of course, not everyone has the space or the time to create a full-on outdoor garden. So, why not start small…and indoors?
It’s safe to say that most people are laser focused on money right now—specifically on how to make it last longer. To help you do just that, we compiled the following list of tips for spending less in 2020: