Friday, March 13, 2015

Avoiding Tax Scams

We're just a month away from the tax filing deadline of April 15, and many people are busy preparing for tax season -- including some people who want to cheat you out of your money! Unfortunately, these scammers may target immigrants, thinking that they will be less likely to know their rights.

In general, you should be very skeptical of anyone who calls you on the phone, pretending to be from the IRS. The IRS will always send you a notice first. Also, don't believe anyone who threatens to have you arrested if you don't pay.

If you get a phone call from someone who says they're from the IRS, don't give them any personal information, or any bank account or credit/debit card information, or any information at all. Do not pay them through any means, including wire transfer. Just hang up and call one of these numbers:
  • If you think you might owe back taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
  • If you're sure you don't owe any taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, at 1-800-366-4484, or online at .
For more information, read this article or check out the IRS's website on Tax Scams.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Interesting Overview of Avoiding Probate Disputes

Blood Feuds provides an interesting review of sibling rivalry and estate plans. There are some suggestions for avoiding potential litigation by being open and clear with sons and daughters about choices.  According to the author, much of this litigation occurs when the children are in their 50s and 60s.  In our experience, there is little correlation between the amount being divided and the willingness to engage in expensive legal battles against relatives after a parent has died.