ASK THE CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT TAX AND PAYROLL TAX ATTORNEY – SCAMMERS FROM ALL DIRECTIONS – THE IRS AND FTB ISSUE WARNINGS – PART 1
By Robert S. Schriebman
In a rare press release the California FTB, in conjunction with the IRS, issued a warning to be diligent against scammers seeking to steal taxpayer identification through fraudulent calls, letters and emails impersonating the FTB. The scammers are seeking your personal information concerning an expected refund or processing your tax return. The scammers are making threats and demanding immediate payment through phone calls. The FTB has provided an 800 number for you to call in the event you are contacted by a scammer: 800.852.5711.
The IRS in conjunction with FTB has issued IR-2022-25 on February 3, 2022. This Release addresses 4 areas of scams that are of a concern to both agencies:
- Text Message Scams
- Unemployment Fraud
- Email Phishing Scams
- Phone Scams
In this Part 1, I will discuss both the text message scam and the scam relating to unemployment (UI) fraud.
Text Message Scams
These scams are sent to your smart phone and have reference the pandemic or “stimulus payments.” The messages contain bogus links claiming to be IRS websites or online tools. It is important for you to know that the IRS does not use text messages and does not send bills and other correspondence through social media.
In the event you happen to be a target for a text scam, the IRS advises you to take a screen shot of the text message and include the screen shot in an email to [email protected] with the following information:
- Date/time//time zone they received the text message.
- Phone number that received the text message.
Do not click links and do not open suspicious or unsolicited attachments. Both the IRS and the FTB do not use text messages or social media platforms to communicate with taxpayers.
Unemployment fraud is big business! The goal of the scammer is to steal your Social Security number and other identification so the scammer can file a phony unemployment insurance claim. The EDD is just too overwhelmed to catch most of these attempts. Victims of UI fraud have trouble getting benefits because the system shows that they have already received them. Those who do not apply for UI benefits nevertheless receive a 1099-G Form. Anyone receiving a fraudulent or inaccurate 1099-G should immediately contact the EDD and request a corrected 1099-G. the corrected 1099-G must be attached to your federal and state tax returns.
What are the signs of UI fraud?
- An employer may contact the employee concerning the UI claim.
- Mail from a government agency about an unemployment claim or payment for which you did not file. This includes unexpected payments or debit cards and could be from any state.
- An IRS Form 1099-G reflecting unemployment benefits you weren’t expecting or didn’t receive. Box 1 on this form may show unemployment benefits they did not receive or an amount that exceeds your records for benefits you did receive. The form itself may be from a state in which you did not file for benefits.
The IRS and the FTB would not be issuing these press releases if the scammers were not numerous and successful – they are. In Part 2, I will discuss the email phishing scam and the phone scam.
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. 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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