New law bans anonymous shell companies

Part of the newly passed National Defense Authorization Act, known as the Corporate Transparency Act, includes a ban on anonymous shell companies in the United States. Historically, the U.S. has been one of the top countries for criminals seeking financial secrecy and hiding large amounts of money. This new law attempts to close loopholes and …

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Tax preparation, security and the IRS

I received an email from the Internal Revenue Service – no, really, it is legitimate. It wasn’t a scam trying to get my personal information – I have actually signed up for these emails directly on IRS.gov.  There is this page where you can subscribe to emails – turns out that some of them are …

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IRS transcripts masked for identity protection

Identity theft has long been a serious issue for taxpayers in the United States, with thousands of taxpayers each year having their personal information fall into the wrong hands. Fortunately the IRS has taken yet another step to combat this growing trend – since December 13, sensitive information has been masked on taxpayer transcripts. Don’t …

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COVID scammers texting promises of additional stimulus payments

We all know the saying about “death and taxes”, but sometimes it seems like scams should be added to that list. Every year, and probably even more frequently than that, scammers are coming up with clever new ways to trick taxpayers out of their personal information, money or both. In a year like 2020, the …

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Stolen wallet? Now what?

If you become a potential or actual victim of identity theft outside the tax system or believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or questionable activity on your credit report, etc., the IRS encourages you to contact them at the Identity Protection Specialized …

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Are you an identity theft victim?

The amount of identity theft cases continues to increase each year and could even affect your tax return and/or refund. Identity thieves will use another individual’s social security number in order to file a false tax return to claim a refund. This tends to happen early in the tax filing season. You may be a …

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Did my doppelganger file for unemployment or am I a victim of fraud?

You received mail from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) regarding your recent application for unemployment benefits. Trouble is you never applied for unemployment. Don’t just drop the letter in the trash. You could be a victim of identity theft, and Arizona wants to hear about it. Fraud is common with unemployment but since …

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How to report identity theft to the IRS

In the United States, approximately 33% of adults have experienced some form of identity theft, which is more than twice the global average. One of the most common forms of identity theft occurs through tax fraud. It is estimated that tax identity theft costs US taxpayers $5.2 billion annually. To combat this growing issue, the …

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IRS updates “Dirty Dozen” tax schemes for 2020 (part 2)

Continued from IRS Updates “Dirty Dozen” Tax Schemes for 2020 (Part 1) Scams targeting non-English speakers: Recent immigrants are often vulnerable to telephone calls claiming to be from the IRS that threaten jail time, deportation, license revocation and other consequences unless financial information is given. Groups with limited English proficiency are often a hot target …

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