ASK THE CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT TAX AND PAYROLL TAX ATTORNEY – BEWARE OF CHARITY SCAMS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON
By Robert S. Schriebman
The IRS and its Security Summit partners has issued Press Release IR – 2022-205 on November 29, 2022 warning taxpayers to be on the alert for scammers using fake charities to commit fraud during the holiday season and year round. These scammers set up fake charities not only to sucker the innocent but to steal valuable personal information to perpetrate identity theft as well as the filing of false IRS and state refund claims. While no specific charities were named in the Press Release, it set forth valuable information to avoid sending your money into fake charities.
Quoting the IRS Press Release:
“Tips to avoiding fake charity scams:
- Don’t’ give in to pressure. Scammers often use the technique of urgent need to pressure people into making an immediate payment. Legitimate charities are happy to get a donation at any time, there’s no rush. Donors are encouraged to take time to do their research. Don’t forget that scammers may alter or “spoof” their caller ID to make it look like a real charity.
- Be wary about how a donation is requested. Taxpayers shouldn’t work with charities that ask for donations by giving numbers from a gift card or by wiring money. That’s a scam. It’s safest to pay by credit card or check – and only after researching the charity.
- Don’t give more than needed. Scammers are seeking money, but personal information can be just as valuable. Taxpayers should treat personal information like cash and not hand it out to just anyone. Never give out Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or PIN numbers. Donors should only give limited financial information when the person is sure the charity is legitimate.”
If you make a contribution of money or goods to charity, you are entitled to deductions if you itemize your deductions on your return. However, if you contribute to a phony charity no deduction will be allowed.
While the IRS sends out this warning this time of year, I am taking the opportunity to expand on this warning to also advise you to check out even legitimate charities through the internet or the IRS website to make sure that the majority of your hard-earned dollar actually goes for the charitable purpose you intend. There are too many charities that give their executives big compensation and use your money to advertise on television and other media that by the time your dollar is put to use only a couple of cents actually goes to benefit those you intend to help. How a charity spends your money is every bit as important as to determining if the charity is valid.
The above advice from the IRS and its partners should be taken to heart. Equally important is how much of your dollar goes to do the good work you intend.
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 50 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments. Mr. Schriebman is in private practice. He is not affiliated in any way with the EDD, and he is not employed by the EDD or any other agency of the State of California.
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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