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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Here's a scam:

(this should go on my business page:, but I'm having an issue with it, and wanted to get this out today)

This morning, I walked into my office to find a message from a client.  She had been contacted by a Michael Johnson (purportedly) of the IRS.  He had left a callback number: 951-223-6693.

So, I called (already suspecting it was a scam - I'll tell you why in a second).  Mr. Johnson answered immediately (hahahaha; no hold! No "your call is very important to us, please wait an hour" hahahaha).  Mr. Johnson started telling me that my client is under investigation, and asked "do you have an attorney, does your client have an attorney?"

I asked Mr. Johnson what his ID# was, and he immediately rattled off a string of numbers, not in the correct format or correct amount of numbers that I'm used to hearing when I speak with IRS representatives.  I asked Mr. Johnson about the format of his ID#, and of course, he immediately hung up.

What I didn't have time to ask Mr. Johnson was:

Why am I dialing a toll line in Riverside, California?  (The IRS always uses toll-free callback numbers.) - this is how I knew immediately that this deal was not on the up and up.

Why has my client not received any official correspondence?  (I've never seen a case that didn't start with either reams of official mail correspondence, or an ID flashing IRS agent showing up, in person, to a taxpayers office or home.)

Why did you not immediately verify my CAF number?  (CAF stands for Centralized Authorization File, a database that holds practitioner's information and authorizations to discuss tax matters about the taxpayer in question.)

The guy did some other things wrong that I won't get into right now.

The point of this post:  People are always trying to scam you. Be careful!!

If you are not absolutely sure that you are talking with a legitimate IRS representative, either give me a call ((423-479-3007), thank you very much), or hang up and call the IRS yourself. (800-829-1040 is the general number, but they can send you to the right department or at least tell you if there is an issue with your account.)

Also, the IRS does not correspond with you via email.  They just don't.  If you get an email from them, delete it. (it probably has a zip file attached to it that will corrupt your data or steal your personal info.)

Again, give me a call if I can help.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Washington, D.C. Clown Circus

(This is mainly venting.  I'm not sure you will be able to find an overall point.  Grammatical errors, yes.  Point, doubtful)

One effect of the government shutdown (that affects me), is the closure of most of the IRS offices.  A client of mine currently under audit is going to have to wait, as the IRS has said that all audits are suspended during the shutdown.  My solution to that issue, of course, would be that the IRS agree to what my client asserts, and close the case (When You Wish Upon A Star...).  I won't hold my breath.

I see Speaker Boehner turning orange with indignation that the President won't negotiate over the Affordable Care Act.  

I see Harry Reid sounding like he is close to tears over the Republican tactics.  

(This morning, over on Twitter, I read what I thought was a pretty good description of this embarrassing mess: 

Meanwhile, I read comments from people who are almost hysterical in their vilification of The Affordable Care Act. Do those people know what is in it? I've yet to hear a rational argument against it - I'm open to hearing one, I just haven't heard one yet. 

I also haven't heard a single alternative plan that would keep me from having to spend almost $19,000 per year before I would see a penny back off of my crappy insurance plan (12 monthly premiums of $891.73 plus $8,000 for my deductible - and my family and I are healthy).  My particular issue is that I'm in a 4 person risk pool.  If I were in a risk pool of, say, 280 million people, I believe that my premiums would be reduced.  As it is, it is a real struggle to provide this horrible insurance policy for me and my employees.

Again, I'm all for a right side of the aisle solution to what ails us, healthcare cost-wise, but I HAVEN'T HEARD ONE. Like most of us, I'm not keen on our government being involved in my healthcare, Obama-led or otherwise, but you guys on the right haven't done anything but whine and call people names - this is not productive.

The Representatives in my area (Southeast Tennessee), come across as obstructionist pissants, offering nothing positive, just automatic disagreements with whatever the President says - reminds me of this Monty Python skit: Actually this skit reminds me of Congress as a whole these days. 

Sen. Bob Corker, who disagrees with the Affordable Care Act, seems to be different in that he is realistic, and is not going to hold his breath until his face turns blue, in order to get his way.  He's also being portrayed as some sort of traitor to the right. Ridiculous!

I keep reading comments along the likes of "throw the bums out", but I see a couple of problems with that approach - first, you have to have some overlap in people leaving and people staying, else who would know how turn on the lights.  Secondly, who would replace those who are thrown out - don't get me wrong, I believe that the majority of these knuckleheads are doing a poor job in Washington. It seems to me though, that what needs to happen is that the whole process of who is picked to run in the primaries needs to be changed.  The only say I have in a state or national election is on the primary level, and then again in the general election. By that time, it is too late to have a real say. The problem is that we really don't get to pick who is going to run in the primaries in the first place.  This is where we (We The People) need to become involved, and is where, I believe, that we fail in our civic duty.  We don't educate ourselves as to the issues. Instead, after the candidate has been picked through backroom deals, we are encouraged, through large dollar advertising campaigns, to choose the lesser of two evils, and to insult and name call his/her opponent.

Like I said, this was a vent session for me.  Thanks for reading, Mom and Dad.