Category Archives: Cyber

IRS Annual Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2019

Each year the IRS publishes their most common list of Tax Scams that they are seeing during tax filings.

Each year we like to review and publish here, just as one more extra reminder to help us all stay away from the bad guys.

So without further ado…..

IRS 2019 Dirty Dozen Tax Scamsburglar-308858__480

Phishing: Taxpayers should be alert to potential fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or tax refund. Don’t click on one claiming to be from the IRS. Be wary of emails and websites that may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information. (IR-2019-26)

Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as con artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things. (IR-2019-28)

Identity Theft: Taxpayers should be alert to tactics aimed at stealing their identities, not just during the tax filing season, but all year long. The IRS, working in conjunction with the Security Summit partnership of state tax agencies and the tax industry, has made major improvements in detecting tax return related identity theft during the last several years. But the agency reminds taxpayers that they can help in preventing this crime. The IRS continues to aggressively pursue criminals that file fraudulent tax returns using someone else’s Social Security number. (IR-2019-30)

Return Preparer Fraud: Be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service. There are some dishonest preparers who operate each filing season to scam clients, perpetuate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers. (IR-2019-32)

Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers should take note of anyone promising inflated tax refunds. Those preparers who ask clients to sign a blank return, promise a big refund before looking at taxpayer records or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund are probably up to no good. To find victims, fraudsters may use flyers, phony storefronts or word of mouth via community groups where trust is high. (IR-2019-33)

Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: Con artists may convince unsuspecting taxpayers to invent income to erroneously qualify for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Taxpayers should file the most accurate tax return possible because they are legally responsible for what is on their return. This scam can lead to taxpayers facing large bills to pay back taxes, interest and penalties. (IR-2019-35)

Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns: Taxpayers should avoid the temptation to falsely inflate deductions or expenses on their tax returns to pay less than what they owe or potentially receive larger refunds. Think twice before overstating deductions, such as charitable contributions and business expenses, or improperly claiming credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. (IR-2019-36)

Fake Charities: Groups masquerading as charitable organizations solicit donations from unsuspecting contributors. Be wary of charities with names similar to familiar or nationally-known organizations. Contributors should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations. (IR-2019-39)

Excessive Claims for Business Credits: Avoid improperly claiming the fuel tax credit, a tax benefit generally not available to most taxpayers. The credit is usually limited to off-highway business use, including use in farming. Taxpayers should also avoid misuse of the research credit. Improper claims often involve failures to participate in or substantiate qualified research activities or satisfy the requirements related to qualified research expenses. (IR-2019-42)

Offshore Tax Avoidance: Successful enforcement actions against offshore cheating show it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore. People involved in offshore tax avoidance are best served by coming in voluntarily and getting caught up on their tax-filing responsibilities. (IR-2019-43)

Frivolous Tax Arguments: Frivolous tax arguments may be used to avoid paying tax. Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims about the legality of paying taxes despite being repeatedly thrown out in court. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. (IR-2019-45)

Abusive Tax Shelters: Abusive tax structures including trusts and syndicated conservation easements are sometimes used to avoid paying taxes. The IRS is committed to stopping complex tax avoidance schemes and the people who create and sell them. The vast majority of taxpayers pay their fair share, and everyone should be on the lookout for people peddling tax shelters that sound too good to be true. When in doubt, taxpayers should seek an independent opinion regarding complex products they are offered. (IR-2019-47)

Have a GREAT “No Dirty Dozen” Tax Scam Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Computer Problems Lead to Dark Web Discussion with IT folks – Visual Capitalist Educational Chart

Late last week Donald “The Brain’s” computer froze and gave a warning “CPU Fan not found” – let the dominoes begin falling..

It’s tax season, the busiest of the year – Immediate new box ordered – hurry, hurry –

Must get a proprietary program running on another machine as a back up – daily downloads needed –

Darn program will not work!

Multiple days and two consecutive hours later (not looking forward to that bill) with our tech folks, while at a paused moment, a question of the Dark Web occurred – while no place to hang out or EVER go, their response gave us comfort in showing this graph, which we had held off for some time.

If YOU REALLY WANT TO SEE SOMETHING SCARY – google Youtube dark web – some crazy stuff there!

From our cool friends at Visual Capitalist:

Again, never, ever go to the dark web or you are asking for it!

The Dark Web in One Cool Chart

It’s very long, creepy but very informative!

the-dark-web

Have a safe “Know what the dark web is, but NEVER go there” day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Cool Chart – How to Stay Invisible on the Internet … Timely

Facebookers have learned some of their information is not super safe….

Here, last year we calmed those that were worried about the data breach of Equifax, and the possible problems which, for the record, thankfully DID NOT OCCUR!

With these concerns and a more and more loss of privacy technology latent society, this chart from our friends at Visual Capitalist is one of our new all time favorites…

How to Stay Invisible on the Internet

It’s long…showing just how many ways we all access the internet….. maybe a manifesto would be the better term… ENJOY and good luck adjusting the electronics!

how-to-be-invisible-online

Have a Great ” Stealth Internet” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

April 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our April 2018 Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

April 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

With Tax season finally over, here we mentioned how it seemed to never end…but we digress…

It appears the Cyber Thieves are back at it again, and have a new technique involving Social Security. Here in our Social Cyber Post, we discuss just how they are doing this.Cyber Attack

Bottom line, if you see something suspicious, be sure to notify the appropriate agency.

Capital Market Comments

Early Discussions of the Interest Rate Yield Curve – Rates

This is going to be fun …. In the first of a multi-part series here, we discuss the basics of the yield curve.

Bottom line, at its most basic level the yield curve should go upward and outward just as our home made chart below (the starting point for our discussion.)

 

20180424_122733630_iOS

 

Have a Great Day! Talk to you at the end of May!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Cyber Thief Update – We have some good news – Clever new tactic to watch out

The last several years marked double digit cyber invasive events through us and our friends and clients at the start of the year, peaking at tax time. Topping out at a new high last year with 12 invasive events.

This year we’re happy to announce that total threats were low single digits.

However, we did hear of a unique new trick from the tricksters worth noting.

The Social Security TrickCyber Attack

This year through our peer study groups we heard of one of the most clever Cyber tactics in recent memory. This Cyber attack involves signing up for your Social Security, but not being you, and depositing your Social Security into someone else’s account.

Bottom line if you receive ANYTHING from the Social Security thanking you for commencing your services for whatever reason, check into it may be fraudulent …. likely is if you have not had any interaction with the Social Security Administration!

Wish the thieves spent as much time working productive as they do destructively … the world would be a better place…… but we digress!

Have a Great Less Social Security Cyber Attacks Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

They are back … The Fraudsters that is !

This time garners the most important financial forms of the year flowing through the system … of course we are speaking of Tax Forms! (W-2, 1099, etc …..)

Tax Time = Fraudster Timethief

This week we fielded two and 1/2 possible fraud attempts. We are giving 1/2 to a email that we are not certain was fraud … No Matter.

Keep your guards up!

Last year we had double digit numbers of fraud during this season… the thing is, we did not see fraud until much later in the season. They may be starting earlier this year.

For the record, there has been no money lost on any of our known fraud attempts… we hope this never changes…. Stay Vigilant !

Happy Friday .. Enjoy Your Weekend ! Talk to you next week…

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Custody Rules Adjustments … BDay wish Thanks… Flu … Holiday MLK Weekend

Custody … A simple word that means a lot in investing.

We do not Custody Your $$$

As a firm we do not take custody of client assets. Not that this is a bad thing, but we choose not to custody assets for reasons beyond the importance of this post.

New rules have gone into effect, that we will of course follow, in order for us to continue NOT TAKING CUSTODY of client assets.

Here are the minor changes affecting us:

  • We can no longer change your address of record for you electronically – we can change via a simple signed document or a quick three way call with our back office team – Just a slight bit slower than the other way – step for steppers!
  • Dormant Standing Letter of Authorizations (SLOA’s) to wire/link transfer money to other accounts have been removed – We like this as it is a good clean up the wires that may be straggling out there
  • Annual reminder statement for wires/linking that are on file – Again, Well done… we like this too
  • Not directly related to the Custody Rule, but worth mentioning is a new mandatory notice when funds are wired- this is sent by our custodian as a safety measure each time a non-recurring wire is completed – Again, thumbs up regulators –

We like all of this, but wanted to let you know in advance, especially on the address change as it may result in slightly slower adjustments … all for our collective safety from cyber predators !

Dad’s 90th Birthday Wishes

Thanks so much for all the wonderful wishes for Dad’s 90th birthday …. Honestly, I was VERY cautious of the announcement … being not directly business related …

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is getting to experience all of life’s events with YOU guys … yes, good and bad … Sometimes I forget you guys enjoy hearing of ours too !

Thanks Again !

Tennis Tournament – Flu

What’s better than a long weekend with an extra long Tennis Tournament … all the family going to a southern town in Texas … hey, even Chacca the dog?tennis-2042723__340

Multiple players, including the 13 year old are fighting the Flu — Wow has this been a tough year … Contact across the country seem to be in the same situation ..

Let’s get well everyone !

MLK Holiday Monday

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, schools, banks, capital markets and our office will be closed …

Have a nice long weekend and Get Well if you feel any bit under the weather !

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com