WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers against telephone scammers targeting students and parents during the back-to-school season and demanding payments for non-existent taxes, such as the “Federal Student Tax.”
People should be on the lookout for IRS impersonators calling students and demanding that they wire money immediately to pay a fake “federal student tax.” If the person does not comply, the scammer becomes aggressive and threatens to report the student to the police to be arrested. As schools around the nation prepare to re-open, it is important for taxpayers to be particularly aware of this scheme going after students and parents.
“Although variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round, they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike”, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “As students and parents enter the new school year, they should remain alert to bogus calls, including those demanding fake tax payments from students.”
The IRS encourages college and school communities to share this information so that students, parents and their families are aware of these scams.
Scammers are constantly identifying new tactics to carry out their crimes in new and unsuspecting ways. This year, the IRS has seen scammers use a variety of schemes to fool taxpayers into paying money or giving up personal information. Some of these include:
- Altering the caller ID on incoming phone calls in a “spoofing” attempt to make it seem like the IRS, the local police or another agency is calling
- Imitating software providers to trick tax professionals--IR-2016-103
- Demanding fake tax payments using iTunes gift cards--IR-2016-99
- Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals--IR-2016-34
- “Verifying” tax return information over the phone--IR-2016-40
- Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry--IR-2016-28
If you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here are some of the telltale signs to help protect yourself.
The IRS Will Never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Search the web for telephone numbers scammers leave in your voicemail asking you to call back. Some of the phone numbers may be published online and linked to criminal activity.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or 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 think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
Changes to the ITIN Program Featured
Today the IRS announced important changes to the ITIN program
The new change may affect up to 400,000 ITIN holders, the changes require some taxpayers to renew their ITINs beginning in October 2016.
Who has to Renew an ITIN?
No action is needed by ITIN holders if they don’t need to file a tax return next year, however, there are two key groups of ITIN holders who may need to renew an ITIN so it will be in effect for returns filed in 2017.
ITINs not used on a federal income tax return in the last three years (covering 2013, 2014, or 2015) will no longer be valid to use on a tax return as of Jan. 1, 2017. ITIN holders in this group who need to file a tax return next year will need to renew their ITINs. The renewal period begins October 1, 2016.
ITINs issued before 2013 will begin expiring this year, and taxpayers will need to renew them on a rolling basis. The first ITINs that will expire under this schedule are those with middle digits of 78 and 79. The renewal period for these ITINs begins October 1, 2016. The IRS will mail letters to this group of taxpayers starting August to inform them of the need to renew their ITINs if they need to file a tax return and explain steps they need to take. The schedule for expiration and renewal of ITINs that do not have middle digits of 78 and 79 will be announced at a future date.
Please click here for more information, if you have questions, please call us at 866-936-2587.
How to Spot a Car Wrap Scam Featured
Have you seen ads promising easy money if you shrink-wrap your car — with ads for brands like Monster Energy, Red Bull, or Pepsi? The “company” behind the ads says all you have to do is deposit a check, use part of it to pay a specified shrink-wrap vendor, and drive around like you normally would. But don’t jump onto the bandwagon. It’s only easy money for the scammer who placed the ads.
How you spot the “offer”
You might see an ad on a job board or on social media. Or someone might send you a message — maybe because they saw your profile or resume on a job site.
How the scam works
The message says you’ll make a couple hundred bucks. But when the “company” sends you a check, it’s for much more than that — a couple thousand dollars. They tell you to deposit the check, keep part of it as your share, and wire the rest to another company that will wrap your car.
Weeks after you wire the money, the check bounces and your bank tells you it was a fake. The money you kept as “your share” disappears, and the money you wired is long gone — no getting it back. On top of that, you’re on the hook for paying your bank back for the fake check. And, of course, no one’s wrapping your car.
How you can tell it’s a scam
If you get a message urging you to deposit a check and wire money back, it’s a scam. Every time. No matter the story. And if this were a legitimate car wrap opportunity, wouldn’t the company directly pay the car-wrapping vendor, instead of asking you to do it?
Has this happened to you? File a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint — select Scams and Rip-offs, then Counterfeit Checks. Want to know more? Read our articles to learn how to spot variations onfake checks and money wiring scams.
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Our first day of class will be on Friday, September 23rd.
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Hello from Gleim in Gainesville, Florida. We are excited about the 2016 National Conference in Las Vegas and are preparing for an eventful show. This year we will be at booth 304.
This year is your year to pass the EA Exam, and Gleim is ready to help! We are the only Enrolled Agent Review on the market that provides Personal Counselor assistance, and are here for you.
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¡Salutaciones de Gleim en Gainesville, Florida! Estamos emocionados acerca de la Conferencia Nacional de 2016 en Las Vegas y estamos preparando para un show espectácular. Este año estaremos en el stand 304.
Este año es el año para pasar el examen de EA, y Gleim está listo para ayudarle! Somos la única revisión de EA en el mercado que tiene un equipo de soporte y estamos aquí para usted.
Mientras disfrutamos de comunicar con usted en Español y tenemos productos bilingües, la revisión de EA de Gleim se ofrece exclusivamente en Inglés, ya que el examen se ofrece sólo en Inglés. Gleim soporta la idea de que se debe estudiar para el examen en el idioma en que se ofrece, ya que te pondrá en una mejor posición para pasar en su primer intento.
Para ayudarle a estudiar y pasar el examen, tenemos un planificador de estudio de Gleim innovador y dinámico, así como una garantía de accesso hasta que usted pase, lo que le permite tomar todo el tiempo que necesita para pasar su examen. Nuestro equipo de soporte también puede responder tanto a su cuestiones contables y no contables.
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Tenga un gran día y nos vemos pronto.
July 25, 2016
In the midst of starting a business or embarking on a new venture, things may not always be perfect. But if it was easy everyone would do it, right?
We’ll take a look at three tips to help turn mistakes or mishaps into opportunities to learn, grow and develop.
Let’s face it. Sometimes things don’t go according to the plan (“stuff” has hit the proverbial fan). You make mistakes. You feel like you’ve let your team down. You wish you could hit the ‘redo’ button.
But the reality is this is inevitable — especially in the startup or new business world where you’re moving 100+ mph on what feels like a frequent rollercoaster. Moving between product launches, client meetings, business development and more.
Truth is, without mistakes, how would we learn?
How would we discover what to change or improve? Or uncover something you’ve been missing for your business?
As H. Stanley Judd said,
Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.
Or Elbert Hubbard…
The greatest mistake a man can ever make is to be afraid of making one.
Or Teddy Roosevelt…
The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything. Do not be afraid to make mistakes providing you do not make the same one twice.
While easier said than done, it’s important to try and look at mistakes as opportunities to:
Stop, reflect and realign
Let’s face it, everyone is busy.
Projects, proposals, deadlines, client meetings. The list goes on. We’re all moving so fast — and while exciting, it's inevitable something may slip through the cracks.
Take it as a reminder to pause. Is what’s top of mind actually the most important? Are you directing your energy on the most important things for your business?
Reflection and refocus are key.
Take a look at your current list of priorities and activities.
Map out what can be done quickly, and knock those out. Better to cross them off the list then delay. Also map out the high impact activities that will require more of your time and attention.
Blocking off “busy” time on your calendar can be a helpful way to carve out time to properly focus on the big ticket items.
Look back at the situation. What could be improved or done differently?
What steps can be taken to help reduce the likelihood of a similar situation? Let preparation be your ally.
Team retrospective or “retros” are a great way to do this. We often hold “retros” after big projects or launches, grabbing a whiteboard and collectively recapping what worked well, what were issues or roadblocks we came across and what are areas to improve next time.
Keep in mind, generally best to hold these as close to launch or project completion as possible while things are still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Sorry for the sports analogy here, but this makes me think of a pitcher having a ‘short-term memory.’
In the midst of a game, they may give up a major home run (maybe two or even three). Could they dwell on this and let the rest of the game slip away? Sure.
But what separates the great players from the average ones is the ability to quickly shake it off and recover — because the next action is more important.
Building off the lessons learned, come up with a game plan of near and mid-term steps you can take to bounce back.
Think about how you could anticipate similar situations in the future and how you would respond. This is also a great time to reconnect and seek advice from a mentor.
They’ve likely encountered similar situations in the past and can offer great perspective to how you reframe as you move forward.
Whether you’re a new entrepreneur hustling to get a business or startup off the ground or are a seasoned vet, we all make mistakes — but always be learning and looking for ways to improve each day!