IRS Urges Seniors to Remain Alert for Phone Scams During Tax Season

IRS Urges Seniors to Remain Alert for Phone Scams During Tax Season

With the 2017 tax season underway, the IRS reminds seniors to remain alert to aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents. The callers claim to be IRS employees, but are not.

These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

The victims are told they owe money to the IRS and must pay it promptly through a preloaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are often threatened with arrest. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Alternately, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the phone scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

“The IRS warns seniors about these aggressive phone calls that can be frightening and intimidating. The IRS doesn’t do business like that,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We urge seniors to safeguard their personal information at all times. Don’t let the convincing tone of these scam calls lead you to provide personal or credit card information, potentially losing hundreds or thousands of dollars. Just hang up and avoid becoming a victim to these criminals‎.”

In recent years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication.

Later this spring, the only outside agencies authorized to contact taxpayers about their unpaid tax accounts will be one of the four authorized under the new private debt collection program. Even then, any affected taxpayer will be notified first by the IRS, not the private collection agency (PCA).

The private debt collection program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in 2015, enables designated contractors to collect tax payments on the government’s behalf. The program begins later this spring. The IRS will give taxpayers and their representative written notice when their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The collection agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer. Information contained in these letters will help taxpayers identify the tax amount owed and help ensure that future collection agency calls are legitimate.

The IRS reminds seniors this tax season that they can easily identify when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are four things the scammers often do but the IRS and its authorized PCAs will not do. Any one of these things is a telltale sign of a scam.

The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never:
•Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks should never be made payable to third parties.
•Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
•Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
•Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
•Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
•Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
•Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
•Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

Remember, too, the IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues involving bills or refunds. The IRS will continue to keep taxpayers informed about scams and provide tips to protect them. The IRS encourages taxpayers to visit IRS.gov for information including the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page.

Additional information about tax scams is available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube Tax Scams.

irs.gov

For questions or to make an appointment:
joe@jandjtaxesandmore.com
734-523-8291

This Week’s Top Three Points to Ponder

This Week’s Top Three Points to Ponder

1.) Stop being a lone wolf. Join a pack of other business professionals to share best practices, support and peer accountability. — We can help with that!

2.) Want to help the world? Make your business highly profitable and provide great value to your employees, your customers,  and your community. That’s noble !!

3.) Small Business Challenge: Are you acting like a CEO… Chief EXECUTIVE Officer or Chief EVERYTHING Officer? Isn’t it time to stop wearing all the hats!

 

Read more from the Growth Coach

J&J Taxes Appears in Observer Business

J&J Taxes Appears in Observer Business

Joe Bartley, owner of J&J taxes, was the first member to participate in the GCBA’s program to contribute weekly business news to the Observer. His article dealt with the IRS with sage advice to “not ignore the IRS.” Says Joe:

“The biggest mistake many taxpayers make is “ignoring” the IRS and thinking they’ll go away (because they won’t). The IRS generally works pretty slow, budget cuts have reduced their resources so enforcement has slowed down, but by all means not eliminated.”

He said the “IRS will work with you, if you work with them,” and “the IRS is tough, but not unreasonable.”

Read the complete article in the Observer.

SERVPRO to Offer Free Continuing Education Seminars

SERVPRO to Offer Free Continuing Education Seminars

SERVPRO to Offer Free Seminars
SERVPRO of Westland will be offering two free Continuing Education Seminars on June 21, 2016. The subjects cover Restoring Contaminated Buildings, and Ethics. The classes will take place at its facility in Westland at 38156 North Executive Drive. Food and beverages will be provided throughout the day.

Class size is limited so please confirm how many guests will be attending. For reservations, please call SERVPRO of Westland at 734-721-5699.

The Restoring Contaminated Building seminar begins with registration at 9:00 am, with the class running from 9:30 am until 11:30 am. The Ethics seminar starts with registration at 11:30 am, with the class time running from 12:00 pm until 3:00 pm.

Course Details

Restoring Contaminated Buildings
‪#‎Insurance‬
Credit Hours-2
Course #69555-MI, #80901-TX, ‪#‎C00459‬-KY
Restoration Category

Ethics
#Insurance
Credit Hours-3
Course #61066-MI, #90420-TX, ‪#‎C10183‬-KY
Restoration Category

GCHS Champions Host First Annual Golf Outing August 22

GCHS Champions Host First Annual Golf Outing August 22

The newly-formed Champions of Garden City High School Scholarship are sponsoring a golf outing on August 22, 2016, at the Idyl Wyld Golf Course in Livonia. (35786 Five Mile Road.) All proceeds from the outing will benefit at-risk students at Garden City High School and provide them with an opportunity to excel in school and life.

Please contact Sharon Kollar or Kelly Mendez at Garden City High School for more information.  734-762-8350. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Schoolcraft’s Radcliff Center Hosts Diabetes Prevention Program

Schoolcraft’s Radcliff Center Hosts Diabetes Prevention Program

The Schoolcraft College Radcliff Center has teamed up with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan to present the My Choice. . . My Health: Diabetes Prevention Program®. The program, which is aimed at individuals who have not been diagnosed with diabetes, runs for 16 weeks at the Radcliff Center. (Schoolcraft College, 1751 Radcliff Street, Garden City, MI 48135, RC 320) Weekly sessions are on Tuesdays, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Please Note: The start date for the program has been pushed back to May 24.

The program operates on the philosophy that small steps can prevent diabetes Becoming more active and losing a moderate amount of weight can help you change your family history, and help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Visit the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan to sign up online or call the NKFM at 800-482-1455.  Questions?  Send email to preventdiabetes@nkfm.org.

SERVPRO Will Make It Like “It Never Even Happened”

SERVPRO Will Make It Like “It Never Even Happened”

SERVPRO of Westland understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it “Like it never even happened.” 

SERVPRO of Westland specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO of Westland can also mitigate mold and mildew from your home or business. 

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of Westland. 

Call us at 734-721-5699 twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. We serve the Canton, Garden City, Inkster, Wayne, and Westland communities.