Tax Scams: Knowing the Signs

Every year, thousands of people lose personal information as well as millions of dollars due to scammers posing as the IRS or other similar organizations. Whether it is over the phone, through emails, or even by going right to your door, this threat is present to anyone and everyone. In order to avoid these scams, there are a few telltale signs to know what it is you are dealing with.

First and foremost, you need to know what the IRS themselves do. They will never initiate contact through texting, social media, or emails. More often than not, the IRS also tends to send multiple mail notices to a person before going directly to a house. They also will never threaten to arrest you for not paying, revoke your driver’s license, or anything similar. They also will have official ID’s on them, a pocket commission and a HSPD-2 card, both of which you are legally allowed to ask to see. In addition, all owed payments should be made out to the United States Treasury. If someone claiming to be an IRS representative does not fit the criteria, there might be cause to worry.

There are many common scams to look for if you are wary. The first one is anything relating to Social Security Numbers. A scammer may threaten to cancel your SSN in order to scare you into giving up information. There are also possibilities of telephone calls demanding you pay owed money through gift cards or wire transfers, them claiming it is urgent. There are even emails that use tax transcripts to entice a person to open documents laced with malware. Even though these three instances are some of the most common, you should be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

If you have fallen victim to a scam such as these, the IRS says to report it here in order to get help. You can also go to law enforcement for assistance. It is much easier to avoid the scams in the first place, though. Know the signs, and avoid these life altering scam artists.


Cryptocurrency: Relevant to Taxes

As the tax season begins, people all around are starting to think of the event as well as how they are going to file the information. Most use a professional on the subject for help. Of course, these professionals always have to ask certain questions based on what the government wants to know. From whether you gamble to your housing arrangement, all of this information is vital to know. A new question is to enter that pool in the upcoming year: “Do you invest in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies?”

            Some might wonder why that is important. Well, to explain that, one must first know what bitcoin itself is. In short, bitcoin is a digital currency with no direct group controlling it. Transactions using this currency are always final, and there is a limited amount of it. This limited number out there drastically increases the demand for it. If you want to get into the finer details, there are countless digital articles explaining the intricacies of these digital currencies, otherwise known as cryptocurrencies.

            Even with all of that, the big question still remains. Why does the government need to know whether or not someone has these digital currencies? Similarly to the gambling aspect, a person has to pay taxes on the amount of money gained. For the time being, no one needs to disclose how much cryptocurrency had, but simply whether or not it is invested in. As the tax world continuously changes, so does the relevant information surrounding it. Cryptocurrency is just another cog in the professional wheel of taxes.