Zinner & Co. Blog and Newsroom

7 Steps to Combat Elder Fraud

Posted by Zinner & Co. on Apr 9, 2019 7:02:00 AM

Every year around this time, the IRS issues a warning about scams that attempt to victimize taxpayers and steal from them. More often than not, the victims of these crimes are senior citizens. The scams have varying levels of sophistication. From simple - such as calling on the phone and posing as an IRS agent - to sophisticated phishing scams that attempt to get taxpayers to reveal information that can be used to hack key user accounts.

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Topics: identity theft, fraud, social security, cybersecurity

Fraudulent Filers Keep Tax-return Identity Theft as One of the IRS' "Dirty Dozen" Scams

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Mar 8, 2018 12:10:45 PM

Even though reports of tax-related identity theft have declined markedly in recent years, the Internal Revenue Service warns that this practice is still widespread and remains serious enough to earn a spot on the agency’s annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams.

The Dirty Dozen is compiled each year by the IRS and outlines a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these cons peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns.

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file a fraudulent tax return claiming a refund.

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Topics: fraud, Taxes - Corporate & Business, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual

IRS Requires Taxpayers to Validate ID

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Feb 17, 2018 8:34:00 AM

The IRS recently announced additional requirements for taxpayers and tax professionals to verify their identities when they call as part of security efforts.

Taxpayers and professionals should have the following documents ready when they call:

  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for those who were named on the tax return in question
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter if the taxpayer has one in lieu of a Social Security number (SSN)
  • Filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate
  • The prior-year tax return. Telephone assistors may need to verify taxpayer identity with information from the return before answering certain questions
  • A copy of the tax return in question
  • Any IRS letters or notices received by the taxpayer
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Topics: fraud, Brett W. Neate, Taxes - Corporate & Business, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual, IRS

What, Me Worry? Conquering cyber insecurity

Posted by Zinner & Co. on Dec 15, 2017 3:20:34 PM

“Data breach can’t happen in our company, we are not big enough to be a target.”

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Topics: fraud, technology

The Equifax Data Breach - What you need to know now

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Sep 15, 2017 10:16:44 AM
On September 7, 2017, Equifax, one of the three main credit reporting agencies, announced a massive data security breach that, according to the Wall Street Jurnal, exposed vital personal identification data — including names, addresses, birth dates, and Social Security numbers — on as many as 143 million consumers, roughly 55% of Americans age 18 and older.

This data breach was especially egregious because the company reportedly first learned of the breach on July 29 and waited roughly six weeks before making it public (hackers first gained access between mid-May and July) and three senior Equifax executives reportedly sold shares of the company worth nearly $2 million before the breach was announced.

DOWNLOAD: FREE Ebook - Income Tax Return Fraud and Identity Theft

Moreover, as CNN points out, consumers don't choose to do business or share their data with Equifax; rather, Equifax — along with TransUnion and Experian, the other two major credit reporting agencies  — unilaterally monitors the financial health of consumers and supplies that data to potential lenders without a consumer's approval or consent.

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Topics: fraud

Equifax Announces Cybersecurity Incident Involving Consumer Information

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Sep 8, 2017 1:00:00 PM

What we're reading today:

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Topics: fraud, Taxes - Individual

11 Inventory Control Fast Fixes to Improve Your Bottom Line

Posted by Chris Valponi, CPA on Aug 15, 2017 3:03:43 PM

For many companies, keeping close tabs on revenue, expenses, and profit is the number one priority. However, companies that carry inventory may not realize its direct effect on profitability.  This effect is known as shrinkage.  Shrinkage is the excess amount of inventory (in accounting records) that no longer exists in the actual inventory. In other words, it is a loss of inventory. There are several causes of shrinkage, such as:

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Topics: Audit and Assurance Department, fraud, Chris Valponi, internal control

Ask the Expert: How to tell if it is really the IRS calling

Posted by Eric James on Jul 9, 2017 8:03:00 AM

Q:  I’m concerned. I was sure I paid my income tax this year when I filed, but I have just received a call from someone saying they are an authorized IRS collection agent and I need to pay a small balance now due ($350). The agent said I should pay by prepaid debit card.  What do you recommend?  

Bailey J., Private Business Owner
Akron, OH

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Topics: scams, fraud, Eric James, Ask the Expert

IRS Cautions Taxpayers to Watch for Summertime Scams

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Jun 29, 2017 9:37:42 AM

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service issued a warning that tax-related scams continue across the nation even thou

gh the tax filing season has ended for most taxpayers. People should remain on alert to new and emerging schemes involving the tax system that continue to claim victims. 

“We continue to urge people to watch out for new and evolving schemes this summer,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Many of these are variations of a theme, involving fictitious tax bills and demands to pay by purchasing and transferring information involving a gift card or iTunes card. Taxpayers can avoid these and other tricky financial scams by taking a few minutes to review the tell-tale signs of these schemes.”

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Topics: scams, fraud

IRS Warns of New Phone Scam Involving Bogus Certified Letters; Reminds People to Remain Vigilant Against Scams, Schemes this Summer

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Team on Jun 21, 2017 2:31:10 PM
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service again warned people to beware of a new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. This scam is being reported across the country, so taxpayers should be alert to the details. 
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Topics: fraud, income tax, IRS

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