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Once again, tax time has rolled around, and though you technically have until April 15th, it’s always best to file a bit earlier…especially if you want to avoid setting yourself up for ID theft.

How Could Filing Taxes Compromise Your Identity?

Here’s how you could become a victim of ID theft just by filing your taxes: the first method is that a thief uses your Social Security number to file taxes, and then they steal your refund. The second method that they use is they take your Social Security nu

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One of the biggest threats that taxpayers are facing these days is an aggressive scam where criminals call victims and pretend to be IRS agents. The goal? To steal money.

All year but especially during tax filing season, the IRS will see a big surge in the number of scam calls, which tell victims that they will be arrested, deported, or have their driver’s license revoked if they don’t pay a fake tax bill.

How the Scams Work

These scammers make calls to people and claim to be from the IRS. They inf

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You might not think about this, but identity thieves really want your child’s Social Security number. If they get this number, they can do a lot, including buying a car, renting an apartment, opening a credit card account, or getting a mortgage. The Social Security numbers of children are great for the bad guys for several reasons:

  • Generally, children have a clean record
  • Crooks can use these numbers to obtain credit
  • Kids usually don’t check out their credit reports until they go to college or buy a
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Beware of these 4 Scams

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  • The e-mail (or phone call) says you owe money; if you don’t pay it immediately, you’ll be put in jail or fined.The scammer may know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.
  • Caller ID will be spoofed to look like the call is from the IRS.
  • The e-mail will include an IRS logo and other nuances to make it look official.
  • The scammer may also have an accomplice call the victim pretending to be a police officer.
  • The victim is scared into sending the “owed” money—which goes to the thi
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The Identity Protection PIN tool on the IRS.gov site has been temporarily suspended—because it was recently hacked into. The tool provides retrieval of forgotten or lost IP PINs to users who want an extra layer of protection against identity theft.

But some users who received the IP PINs recently via the online tool learned that a thief had used their IP PIN to file tax returns in their name.

So now, for the moment, you cannot use the IRS’s online function to retrieve your IP PIN; meanwhile, the I

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How to prevent IRS scams

Once a thief knows your Social Security number…you’re at very high risk for having your identity stolen.

A report on bankrate.com says that the IRS is warning of a cyber attack on its electronic filing PIN application. Thieves infiltrated it with malware in an attempt to claim other people’s refunds as their own. Over 450,000 SSNs were involved, and over 100,000 of them enabled the hackers to access an E-file PIN.

Endless scams are directed towards SSNs, like the classic phishing attack. A phishin

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CNN recently reported that the data breach of the IRS, which occurred between this past February and May, originated from Russia. The crooks were able to steal tax returns from over 100,000 people. The thieves filed a total of $50 million in tax refunds, having obtained personal data to get ahold of the data.

In other words, this crime wasn’t a hacking job. The Russians didn’t hack into the IRS’s network through some “back door” or social engineering scheme. They actually entered through the fron

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Beware every time the Phone rings

Don’t assume you’ll never be targeted by phone scammers just because you don’t have a cell phone; they continue to feast on landline users, especially those over 50.

“This is the IRS…”

  • Drill this into your head: The IRS never calls to collect back taxes. NEVER.
  • A common ploy is to threaten that the listener will go to prison if they don’t pay up immediately.
  • If you really do owe taxes, the IRS will contact you alright—but via snail mail, not a phone call, text or e-mail.
  • Scam calls may also sound pro
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How to identify Tax Scams

The IRS isn’t your biggest enemy during tax season. It’s the criminals who pretend to be IRS reps and then con people out of their money. They contact potential victims chiefly through phone calls and text messages.

Typically, the message is threatening in tone and/or content, informing the target they’ll be arrested if they don’t immediately send the IRS owed money. The threat may also be deportation or a driver’s license suspension (that last one is really silly, but people actually do fall for

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Don't be scammed into paying Back Taxes

It’s easy to scam someone who did something wrong by telling them they need to fix their mistake. This is why thousands of people get scammed into paying back taxes to the IRS—the IRS has nothing to do with these scams, of course, but the predators prey on peoples’ fear of Uncle Sam. It all begins with the fraudster making a phone call, pretending to be an IRS employee.

They have other tricks up their sleeve too, such as making the caller ID show a number that appears to be coming from the IRS an

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File an FBAR or Find Yourself Behind Bars

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A few years ago the IRS offered a tax amnesty program for US citizens who failed to declare assets held in foreign bank accounts. This came on the heels of a highly publicized legal action against UBS. The IRS forced the Swiss based bank to turn over the account information of US citizens. The IRS was clamping down on tax evaders, exploiting the protection of Switzerland's bank secrecy laws to hide income and assets. The IRS was looking to determine if FBARs had been filed by the banks American
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The Independent reports that Ireland's Chartered Accountants are warning that "new OECD proposals on taxing hi-tech multinational companies will fundamentally change business landscape." 
 
The OECD has published a draft discussion on companies operating in the digital economy.  The question of determining tax liability for companies with a business model spanning multiple countries is a growing concern for national tax agencies. Outsourcing, offshoring, the use of tax havens and global e-commerce
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Anatomy of a Tax Audit

Its that time of year again.  April 15th looms ever larger as small businesses scramble to meet the IRS  tax filing deadline.  For many small businesses, tax filing is handled by a trusted accountant or business adviser. That tends to take the trauma out of this annual exercise in pain.  But even with the help of a tax professional the angst of the season is always a pressing concern.   
 
The enclosed infographic published by oBizMedia, displays some startling data about audit risk and its cost t
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Deductions and Tax Audit Risk

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The filing deadline for filing taxes is fast approaching. Small Mid-Size Business Enterprises (SME) need to be aware of all the deductions afforded to them by the tax code.  
 
Our friends from Balboa Capital sent us this reminder about the Section 179 Tax Deduction...
 
...There have been a lot of questions surrounding the Section 179 deduction for 2014*
 
…According to the IRS, the Section 179 tax deduction limit as of January 1st 2014 is $25,000. This is a sharp drop from last year's limit, but it
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