Category Archives: Tax News


IR-2020-34, February 19, 2020

The IRS Deputy Commissioner addressed the American Bar Association regarding updated tax collection enforcement efforts.

Most notably, the IRS is conducting “HIGH INCOME NON-FILER SWEEPS”. IRS Revenue Officers across the country are conducting in person visits with high-income taxpayers who haven’t filed tax returns. According to the IRS, anyone making more than $100,000 is considered high income.

Additionally, the IRS recently opened a new department, the Office of Fraud Enforcement. This office is responsible for investigating businesses and individuals who are not in compliance with tax returns or payroll taxes.

If you believe this may apply to you, our office is experienced in handling collection and tax strategy matters. Please call 831-454-9415 to set up a consultation.

Taxpayers warned of scams in relation to COVID-19 economic payment checks

Date: April 9, 2020


HOUSTON – Federal authorities are cautioning taxpayers that criminals could steal economic impact payments through various means of deception, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Acting Special Agent in Charge Rodrick Benton of IRS – Criminal Investigation (CI).

Everyone receiving a COVID-19 related economic impact payment from the government is at risk.

COVID-19 economic impact payment checks will be on their way from the IRS in a matter of weeks. For most Americans, this will be a direct deposit into their bank accounts. Those that did not identify a bank account on their tax returns, elderly individuals or others who have traditionally received tax refunds via paper check will receive their payments in that manner.

“Disasters create openings for crooks and scam artists,” said Patrick. “From phony door-to-door solicitations to complex computer and phone scams, I want people to be alert. Do not give out personal information to people who claim they are with the government. The scum that take advantage at a time like this will find the weight of federal law enforcement on them.”

“While the Nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, criminals see an opportunity to enrich themselves through fraudulent schemes,” warned Benton. “With the public’s awareness, we can combat these scammers and cease their exploitation of the American taxpayer during these trying times.”

Criminals have already begun deceiving taxpayers through unsolicited phone calls, emails, text messages or other communications purporting to be from the IRS in attempts to steal these payments. Authorities warn taxpayers to be vigilant and on alert to this potential fraud.

  • The IRS will deposit your check into the direct deposit account you previously provided on your tax return (or, in the alternative, send you a paper check).
  • The IRS will NOT CALL and ask you to verify your payment details. Do NOT give out your bank account, debit account or PayPal account information – even if someone claims it’s necessary to get your check. IT’S A SCAM!
  • If you receive a call, do NOT engage with scammers or thieves, even if you want to tell them that you know it’s a scam or you think that you can beat them. Just HANG UP.
  • If you receive texts or emails claiming you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links, DELETE them. Do NOT click on any links in those emails or texts.
  • Bogus checks are also being distributed. If you receive a “check” in the mail now, IT’S A FRAUD – it will take the Department of Treasury a few weeks to mail the legitimate checks to taxpayers. If you receive a “check” for an odd amount (especially one with cents), a check that requires that you verify the check online or by calling a number, IT’S A FRAUD.

For more information about coronavirus tax relief and economic impact payments, visit the IRS website. For more information about coronavirus fraud overall and related details, go to the DOJ website.

Link to article on IRS website:

Beware of Social Security Scams

There has been a huge surge in the number of “robocalls” or scam calls in the past few years. The most recent robocallers pretend to be the Social Security Administration (SSA) and try to get your personal information and your money. The automated recording will say that your Social Security number (SSN) “has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity,” and advises to contact a specific phone number immediately. It should be stated that the real SSA does not suspend numbers, ever.

According to the FTC website, “So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us they’ve lost $10 million.” If you get one of these calls the best thing to do is to not answer it. Their end game is to get into your bank account.

Here’s what one of those scam calls sounds like.
Audio courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission.

Project Fresh Start

On May 21, 2012, the IRS announced more flexible offer in compromise terms to help a greater number of struggling taxpayers make a fresh start. Per its announcement: “The Internal Revenue Service today announced another expansion of its ‘Fresh Start’ initiative by offering more flexible terms to its Offer in Compromise (OIC) program that will enable some of the most financially distressed taxpayers to clear up their tax problems and in many cases more quickly than in the past.”

This phase of Fresh Start will assist some taxpayers who have faced the most financial hardship in recent years,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “It is part of our multi-year effort to help taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet.”