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News You Can Use – March 2020

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Sandy Botkin
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1So, you have a tax question. You’re probably thinking that the best place to get it answered is to simply call the IRS. Right? If you answered yes, you would do so at your peril!!

First, it takes a long time to even get through to an IRS taxpayer service representative to get your question answered. Secondly, the National Taxpayer Advocate recently tested the Service by calling the agency’s toll free help line to pose question on the new tax law changes. In many instances, the operator gave the wrong reply.

One good example involved a set of calls that asked about claiming exemptions for dependents,which was REPEALED under the latest tax reform law. In NO CASE did the caller get the correct response. ICH!! Even worse, IRS isn’t bound by what their personnel tell you. Thus, call IRS at your own peril.

2IRS telephone scams are surging. IRS has warned that callers,who claim to be agency employees, even with a caller ID readout showing the IRS is calling, are back on track scamming victims. Victims are told that they owe taxes and must pay up through wire transfers, gift card or use a prepaid debit card. To make it even more chilling the victims are threatened with arrest, deportation or foreclosure. Seniors and low income individuals seem to be targeted the most.

If you get one of these calls, do NOT give out any information. Hang up immediately and notify Treasury inspectors at 800-366-4484 and IRS at: “phishing@IRS.gov.”

3Coronavirus scams proliferating. When the country is in distress, there are scammers always willing to take advantage in order to make a buc. I have seen all kinds of misinformation such as:

  • Drinking lots of water will reduce the chances of a major flare up or…
  • Taking certain supplements will help fight or prevent you from getting the virus, or…
  • Taking some bogus medication or food supplement will either kill the virus or help protect you. None of this is currently shown to be true!!!..

The only known protection is to wash hands after going outside and to keep a safe distance from other people. Do not fall for these phony scams designed to part you from your money.


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Sandy Botkin

Sandy is a CPA, Tax Attorney, and former IRS trainer. He has authored many helpful books on the subject of taxes, including 7 Simple Ways to Legally Avoid Paying Taxes ( Click Here ), Lower Your Taxes: Big Time ( Click Here ), and Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich ( Click Here ).

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