Taxation
9 Signs It May Be a Tax Return Scam
Don’t file with fraudsters this tax season
 
You may hate to do your taxes, but some scammers eagerly await the season. And as we approach Tax Day this year, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning of identity theft scams where fraudsters trick taxpayers into providing personal information over the phone or through email by impersonating IRS agents and aggressively threatening arrest, deportation, and other actions, if the person on the other end doesn’t immediately comply. 
 
The agency reported a 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents this tax season. 
 
Even more worrisome, a recent audit by Online Trust Alliance, a Washington-state based non-profit, found that about half of firms that have agreements with the IRS to provide free online tax preparation and filing services are not adequately protecting customers’ privacy and security against cybercriminals. Cyber-criminals who gain access to the accounts are filing false returns and refund claims. 
 
But that’s not the only way fraudsters are attempting to make hay on the season. Here’s what you should know so you don’t get fleeced when filing your claims:
  1. The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment. Period.
  2. The IRS does not contact taxpayers by email, text, or through social media to request personal information. If you get a communication from someone purporting to be from the IRS, it may be someone trying to steal your identity by getting your personal information. Report such attempts to [email protected]
  3. Promises of larger-than-normal tax returns should be a red flag that the tax preparer may not be above board.
  4. Ethical tax preparers do not charge a percentage of the refund amount as a fee or require you to split the refund with them.
  5. Some scammers pose as fake charities to attract donations from taxpayers. Look into the status of a charitable organization before you donate.
  6. Every tax preparer has to have a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number). Ask to see the number. (A list of IRS actions against preparers can be found here if you want to see if the preparer has had a problem before.)
  7. Tax preparers who encourage you to place false information on your tax return are breaking the law.
  8. Promises of “free money” from the IRS or Social Security refunds or rebates are part of scams known to lure low-income and elderly consumers to a fraudulent website or tax scam artist.
  9. Fraudsters will try to attract taxpayers by promising that you can file a tax return with little or no documentation, which is untrue.

The IRS offers free assistance in preparing taxes. More information on how to pick a tax preparer and programs offered through the IRS can be found here. Additional information about tax season scams can be found here.

 

This article was originally published on 2/24/14 and updated several times. 
 

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State-run banks' bad loans rise by Rs.1 lakh crore in 9 months
New Delhi : Non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, of public sector banks (PSBs) have increased by close to Rs.1 lakh crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal, parliament was informed on Tuesday.
 
"The gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of the PSBs increased from 5.43 percent as on March 2015 to 7.30 percent as on December 2015," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
 
Gross NPAs of state-run banks increased from Rs.2,67,065 lakh crore in March 2015 to Rs.3,61,731 lakh crore in December 2015, he said, making for an increase of Rs.94,666 crore over the nine months of the current fiscal.
 
In reply to another question, Jaitley listed specific measures to address the issue of NPAs.
 
He said the government has approved establishment of six new Debt Recovery Tribunals, to speed up recovery of bad loans of the banking sector, in addition to the existing 33.
 
The Reserve Bank of India has also taken steps, including formation of a Joint Lenders' Forum (JLF) for revitalising stressed assets in the system, flexible structuring for long term project loans to infrastructure and core industries and Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) scheme, Jaitley added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Five Syndicate Bank officials booked in Rs.1,000 crore scam
New Delhi : The CBI on Tuesday registered a case against five Syndicate Bank officials, a CA, three private people and others on charges of causing a loss of Rs.1,000 crore to the bank by discounting of fake cheques and bills against fake insurance policies and overdraft limits against non-existent policies.
 
The bank officials have been identified as New Delhi branch's then general manager Satish Kumar Goel, Jaipur regional office deputy general manager Sanjeev Kumar, Jaipur branch chief manager Deshraj Meena and assistant general managers of Malviya Nagar branch in New Delhi and Jaipur branch Adarsh Manchanda and Awdhesh Tiwari respectively. 
 
Sources said that the fraud was unearthed recently and a Central Bureau of Investigation complaint was made after the suspension of the bank officials. 
 
Goel was recently transferred to the Syndicate Bank's New Delhi Branch. 
 
The other accused have been identified as chartered accountant Bharat Bamb, a resident of Udaipur, and three Jaipur residents identified as Shankar Khandelwal, Piyush Jain and Vineet Jain. 
 
All of them have been booked by the CBI under charges of criminal conspiracy, using a forged document as genuine, cheating and forgery of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act. 
 
"It was alleged that the accused persons in connivance with the bank officials committed a fraud of Rs. 1,000 crore by resorting to discounting of fake cheques and fake inland bills against fake LICs and arranging over-draft limit against non-existent LIC policies," said CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh. 
 
He said that the fraud was allegedly committed at Jaipur and Udaipur branch in Rajasthan and Malviya Nagar branch in Delhi. 
 
"It was further alleged that the bank officials of the two branches were colluded with private persons in the crime since 2011. The amount involved in individual transactions ranged from Rs. 40 lakh to Rs.5 crore but majority of them were in the range of Rs.2.5-4 crore," the official said. 
 
To avoid detection, many of these transactions were nullified from the proceeds of new fraudulent transactions, he added.
 
"Searches are being conducted at 10 locations including Jaipur, Udaipur and New Delhi which led to recovery of incriminating documents," the official added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

PPM

9 months ago

The erring bank officials need to be dismissed from the service without any benefits and all their assets need to be confiscated immediately.

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