Search
Close this search box.

Tax Refund Scams

By
June Adams
January 31, 2022
Share on:

Tax-related fraud and identity theft have continued to grow, with millions of people becoming targets. Scammers need little more than your Social Security number and other general information to file a fraudulent tax return and hijack your tax refund. Taxpayers typically don’t discover the fraud until they attempt to file their own returns, which is why it's essential to file taxes as soon as possible. At the same time, you may want to confirm the appropriate timing with your tax professional. Although 1099s are due by the end of January, custodians may correct 1099s throughout February. If drastic changes happen to a 1099 after you file your taxes, the change can severely impact the amount you owe.

 

Here are some helpful ways to prevent your SSN from being compromised:

  • If you have been a victim of identity theft, complete  IRS form 14039, identity theft affidavit.
  • Respond immediately to any IRS issued notice once you verify the authenticity of the notice. You can do so by calling the IRS directly at 800-908-4490 or setting up your  online account.
  • Get an Identity Protection PIN: a 6-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number. Only you and the IRS know the IP PIN.

You may also like:

By
David McDonough
May 31, 2019

It’s graduation season, and there’s an excitement in the air about starting a new chapter. Mixed in with this excitement is an element of stress to make the right decisions: decisions on how things should be done, when they should be done and where they should be done. All these decisions are common, but they often distract from the purpose of what comes after high school.

We need to remember that higher education has a purpose. It’s more than an experience. The purpose of a college degree is employment. It is an investment, and as with any other investment, you should be calculating the return on that investment.  Spending $100,000 for a degree that secures a job with an annual salary of $40,000 is not the best rate of return.

There are plenty of creative ways to get a great college education without breaking the bank. Parents can start a 529 plan, the earlier the better, to help cover costs. Students can begin their higher education at a community college or secure college credit via Advance Placement (AP) exams. Additionally, students need to be sure that the field they are spending their time and energy on is going to reciprocate by providing solid career opportunities.

Making the wrong decision is not simply an unwise financial move. It can have lasting implications. Recent figures show that outstanding student loan debt has reached $1.5 trillion[i]. Our younger generation is not only struggling under this debt, they are also pushing off other personal and financial milestones, such as purchasing a house[ii], getting married or starting a family[iii]. These decisions can have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences.

Lastly, let’s not forget the countless parents who put their path to financial independence on hold to financially assist their struggling children. While wanting to financially help your loved ones is admirable, it helps no one to offer assistance at the expense of your own security. Just like when traveling by airplane, you need to put your own oxygen mask on and secure your safety first before aiding others. There are no scholarships for retirement, and you won’t have a financial safety net for the future if you don’t work towards creating it now.

College is truly an exciting time. Our young adults are learning who they are, where they want to go and how they intend to get there. At the same time, we cannot forget that college is a fleeting moment, one that is meant to arm the student with the tools needed to create a brighter and more successful future. Be sure to chat with your students to ensure that this experience does just that, rather than straddle these students with debt and stress.

[i] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/student-debt-just-hit-15-trillion-2018-05-08

[ii] https://www.businessinsider.com/student-debt-preventing-the-us-from-having-normal-housing-market-2019-5

[iii] https://www.bankrate.com/loans/student-loans/student-loans-survey-february-2019/

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Prior to investing in a 529 Plan investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Prior to investing in a 529 Plan investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.

Disclaimer:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Investing in mutual funds involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

The principal value of a target fund is not guaranteed at any time, including at the target date. The target date is the approximate date when investors plan to start withdrawing their money.

No strategy assures success or protects against loss.

By
Jim Young
July 21, 2022

Ok now that you’ve recovered from falling off your chair after reading the tile of this blog, let me explain.

Inflation is one of the biggest challenges in achieving, and maintaining, financial independence. The low inflation we have experienced for decades has made many of us lazy when it comes to spending.  Now is the time to put some great habits into place that will reduce your spending now and will help even more when inflation get’s back to historical norms.

Here are some tips:

  1.  The days of clipping coupons seems to be a thing of the past.  Time to resurrect this time-tested way to save money.  Now it’s done electronically.  Click here for a great article on coupon apps.
  2. Bargain shop.  The meat department is the best place to shop for deals.  Supermarkets would rather greatly reduce the price on meat than throw it away.  I’ve seen bargains at 50% off.  And not to worry, the meat is still good.
  3. Dump the name brands.  I am a big name-brand guy however that is changing.  You can save 30-50% on certain items by going with the store brand such as Kroger at Ralphs.  Just today we saved 30% on peanut butter and couldn’t tell the difference.
  4. Use those credit card miles.  If you fly Southwest use their Chase Rewards Card.  This year alone I flew two of us to Hawaii roundtrip and flew myself to NY and used my miles.  Pretty much all carriers have credit cards they use for miles.
  5. If you shop at Ralphs use their Ralph’s Reward Card.  They have a great app that shows you year to date savings.  We have saved $500 so far this year.  You also get fuel points that you can used at Shell Stations.  I’ve saved as much as $.50 per gallon!
  6. This one is real hard for me but try to walk out of restaurants with a doggie bag.  I’m the type of person that if something is real good, I’ll clean my plate (thanks mom!).  But with portion sizes so big you should have no problem making two meals out of one.  Your wallet and belly with thank you!

 

These are just a few habits to help get you through this time of high inflation that could help your plan when inflation gets back to “normal”.

Get Started on Your Financial Life Plan Today

Do not fill out the form below if you are an existing client. Please contact your Advisor directly.