I get really angry when I see books or advertisements from alleged former IRS agents whose big sell is that they will let you in on the “secrets” of the IRS. Do not fall for this! There aren’t any “secrets”. You only need to follow the tax law – it’s that simple. Some people want to bend the truth and convince you that you can get away with something because THEY have the inside scoop.
I remember a discussion I had with an IRS agent a few years ago while representing a client who was in tax trouble. The client went to a preparer who promoted himself as a former IRS employee, and this IRS employee-turned-preparer filed fraudulent returns with this supposed “insider knowledge”. Everyone who was a client of this preparer got in trouble with the IRS and owed significant amounts, to be paid back with interest and penalties. I asked the IRS agent where this genius preparer was now, and he told me the guy fled overseas and they were working on extraditing him. He was going to face some harsh consequences.
Legitimate tax professionals take hours and hours of continuing education each year, including ethics. They go above and beyond to raise the standard of their license requirements. They don’t need to resort to false advertising and fake refunds to get clients. The objective is to prepare returns correctly, and keep your clients out of trouble. We are here to follow the law, and many of these “former IRS” people try to make themselves out to be something they are not, in order to sell books or engage in fraudulent schemes to dupe the public.
I want to sell books too, and in my book “101 Ways to Stay Off the IRS Radar”, I discuss the tax mistakes to avoid based on the tax law, and I don’t mislead people with fake information. The book was in the Top 50 this week on Amazon, so clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks some of these people marketing “IRS secrets” are not all that.
And don’t get me started on those TV ads. I’ve had clients who came to me after they lost over $10,000 to these companies who did NOTHING.
Remember the woman on TV who promised “pennies on the dollar” for IRS settlements? She’s in jail now…….
I’ll be doing some free webinars, as well as some appearances across the country. Check the website for locations and other information.
Until next time…………..
101 Ways to Stay Off the IRS Radar
Flying high now — “101 Ways to Stay Off the IRS Radar” is #3 in Kindle sales today. The other day, the print book was #74. Why am I happy? Because it’s legit. And here comes my tirade on ethics.
When I first wrote my book, all of these “marketers”, “gurus”, “consultants”, “agents”, etc., got in my face and said they could make my book go to #1. How? By charging me some exorbitant amount of money and putting me in some nutty category, like Women’s Poetry or Women Writers, etc.. I said no way. I want to be in the category of taxes, personal finances, etc. And these “experts” bragged about how THEIR books are bestsellers. But it’s fake. And who wants to be a fake #1? Not me. Because no gold seal would make me feel good if that’s how it was acquired.
I read a hilarious story about a guy who wanted to prove anyone could have a #1 bestseller by messing with the Amazon categories, and he actually got his book to #1. Did I mention it was just 1 page and he took a picture of his foot? I think it was called “Putting My Foot Down”. (I love that title…..) And now he adds “Best-Selling Author” to his resume.
My feet belong in the sand; I am not a poet; and I don’t want to make it to #1 that way. And if #3 is the best I do, that’s fine too. My goal was to educate and bring tax information in a fun and interesting manner, and I believe I did that. I don’t need a gold seal. Would I love one? — sure! But at this point in my life, I can ignore the parasites and keep on moving forward. I am not trying to say that I’m Mother Teresa, but I believe that ethics count.
A huge thank you to all who have read the book. And don’t forget to grab my free report on the 10 Surefire Ways to Spot an IRS scam, available at RealLifeTaxAdvice.com.
It’s never a good idea to give the finger to any federal authority; especially the IRS.
Sadly, a man sent a fake bomb and his real finger to the IRS, as well as a bullet and a joint. He is now in jail.
In addition to tax issues, there were clearly other factors here that led to this particular act. I am not a psychiatrist nor do I have specifics on this person’s tax case (nor could I comment if I did), but I can share from experience with hundreds of clients with tax problems that people get stressed out and not everyone has a normal reaction, although most reactions are less drastic.
Many of these people let years and years go by before taking steps to settle their issues. Another bad idea…….it doesn’t get better with time.
Believe it or not, if you have a tax problem, you have options. You may not know what they are, but a good tax professional will.
Keep your digits and get help.
Pick up your copy of “101 Ways to Stay Off the IRS Radar“, available at Amazon and Barnes&Noble.com. It is the most fun you will have with taxes, and you’ll learn important information you can use year round!
I don’t understand it………..the IRS has given away BILLIONS in fraudulent returns. Victims of scammers have lost MILLIONS, and let’s be truthful — how many people have NOT come forward!??!?! People have lost their life savings, been frightened to death, literally ran from their homes when they thought they would be arrested, etc. So why don’t more people know about the scams? Why does the media ignore this? Why isn’t it on every TV station, in every newspaper, and online?
It’s not just the elderly and immigrants; it’s millennials, it’s EVERYBODY!!! These scam calls have been perfected with time, and sometimes you just don’t know for sure if it’s really the IRS or a scam. And the fake notices are really convincing.
I put together 10 points to help people identify a scam. It’s a quick cheatsheet, and I ask that you share it with your friends and family. It’s a free download at RealLifeTaxAdvice.com.
If the caller is threatening jail, arrest, etc. — hang up the phone. We all have to pay our taxes, but this is not how it’s done. Give the caller NO personal information, and you can call the IRS directly. Or ask a tax professional (we can spot fake calls and notices more easily than you can because we deal with them every day). The IRS does not leave threatening messages on your voicemail; they do not contact you by email; they don’t show up in uniforms at your door (victims reported fake IRS agents showing up at their door in brown trooper-style uniforms with a trooper hat).
These scams have been going on for years, and they work. But the more we can spread the word, the more we can help people. Download your copy now: RealLifeTaxAdvice.com.
I also talk about the scams in my book “101 Ways to Stay Off the IRS Radar“, available at Amazon and BN.com. It’s less than $15, and I promise you — it’s an enjoyable read. And you will learn important tips to stay out of trouble.
Have you ever received a scam call, robocall or fake notice? Please share your story. Let’s help others out.
The questions has been popped, the ring is on the finger, and the wedding plans are in motion.
Tax and financial expert Abby Eisenkraft from REAL LIFE TAX ADVICE shares 3 important questions to ask your intended BEFORE you say “I Do”:
√ Ask your spouse-to-be if all tax returns have been filed, and if there are any outstanding balances.
Why? If you file jointly next year, you may lose an expected refund. And you don’t want to start your marriage in debt!
√ Ask your spouse-to-be if there are any back-year unresolved tax problems, including any open audits.
Why? Tax problems come up at the most inopportune times. They always crop up right before a vacation, wedding, big event, etc. And if a tax problem is large enough, the IRS can confiscate your passport. Sure way to ruin a honeymoon!
√ Ask your spouse-to-be for a “sit down” to compare your paystubs and ensure enough tax is withheld.
Why? The choices you made when you were single might have worked for you then, but may not work now. You may find yourself in a new tax bracket, and there are other considerations when you have a change in filing status. A small investment in some tax planning with a professional now may pay off handsomely in the future.
Congratulations to all of you summer brides and grooms. If there is a tax problem, deal with it together. You can sort it out before tax season, and maintain that marital bliss!
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