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ASK THE EDD ATTORNEY – FRANCHISE TAX BOARD REPORTS THE LATEST “COLLECTION AGENCY” IDENTITY THEFT SCAM

By Robert S. Schriebman

2018

On February 6, 2018 the FTB took an unusual action and issued a "Tax News Flash." The FTB wanted to inform tax professionals and the public of the latest identity theft scam. It warned that there are active scams designed to steal client data and then file fraudulent tax returns designed to steal refunds. In some cases the filed bogus returns contained sensitive taxpayer bank account information for direct deposits of tax refunds. After the deposit is made an imposter, usually a woman supposedly representing an official of a debt collection agency calls the taxpayer only to tell that person that the refund was mistakenly deposited in their bank account. The voice on the phone then requests that the erroneous refund be returned to the collection agency. While the FTB press release did not go into details, I imagine that the "nice lady" at the end of the phone will then ask all the right questions to separate your client from his or her money. May I suggest that you let your clients know about this type of scam and have your clients call you before returning any suspicious calls.

If you as a tax professional, or any of your clients, receive this type of call, you should contact the FTB’s "Identity Theft Hotline" 916.845.7088. The FTB also advises tax professionals to contact the IRS’ Stakeholder Liaison. The liaison will then notify the appropriate IRS department and will also act as a point of contact for you..

The FTB also advises tax practitioners to review the "IRS’ Data Theft Information for Tax Professionals." This publication will also give you a step-by-step guideline on additional steps you should take to protect your client as well as your practice.

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Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States. He has successfully dedicated more than 40 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments.

Robert Schriebman has written the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure," both published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures - A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures - A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House in addition to the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure," both published by Commerce Clearing House.

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