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Tax Scams to Watch Out For W hile tax scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. As a result, it’s in your best interest to always be vigilant so you don’t end up becoming the victim of a fraudulent tax scheme. Here are some of the more common scams to watch out for.

Phishing Phishing scams usually involve unsolicited emails or fake websites that pose as legitimate IRS sites to convince you to provide personal or financial information. Once scam artists obtain this information, they use it to commit identity or financial theft. It is important to remember that the IRS will never initiate contact with you by email, text or social media to request personal or financial information. If you get an email claiming to be from the IRS, don’t respond; instead forward it to phishing@irs.gov. Phone scams Beware of callers claiming that they’re from the IRS. They may be scam artists trying to steal your money or identity. This type of scam typically involves a call from someone claiming you owe money to the IRS or that you’re entitled to a large refund. The calls may also show up as coming from the IRS on your Caller ID, be accompanied by fake emails that appear to be from the IRS, or involve follow-up calls from individuals saying they are from law enforcement. Sometimes these callers may threaten you with arrest, license revocation, or even deportation. If you don’t owe taxes and believe you have been the target of a phone scam, you should contact the Treasury Inspector General and the Federal Trade Commission to report the incident. Tax return preparer fraud During tax season, some individuals and scam artists pose as legitimate tax preparers, often promising unreasonably large or inflated refunds. They try to take advantage


of unsuspecting taxpayers by committing refund fraud or identity theft. It is important to choose a tax preparer carefully, since you are legally responsible for what’s on your return, even if it’s prepared by someone else.


Fake charities Scam artists sometimes pose as a charitable organization in order to solicit donations from unsuspecting donors. Be wary of charities with names that are similar to more familiar or nationally known organizations, or that suddenly appear after a national disaster or tragedy. There are tools at irs.gov to assist you in checking out the status of a charitable organization, or you can visit charitynavigator. org to find more information about a charity.


Tax-related identity theft Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security number to claim a fraudulent tax refund. You may not even realize you’ve been the victim of identity theft until you file your tax return a discover that a return has already been filed using your Social Security number. If you believe you have been the victim of tax-related identity theft, you should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 as soon as possible. Stay one step ahead The best way to avoid becoming the victim of a tax scam is to stay one step ahead of the scam artists. Consider taking the following precautions to keep your personal and financial information private: Maintain strong passwords Consider using two-step authentication Keep an eye out for emails containing links or asking for personal information Avoid scam websites Don’t answer calls when you don’t recognize the phone number Finally, if you are ever unsure whether you are the victim of a scam, remember to trust your instincts. If something sounds questionable or too good to be true, it probably is.

Optimizing Social Security Benefits Information and Dinner Included Vincent Esparza, CFP, CLU cordially invites you to join us for dinner on March 19th or 21st at 6p.m. HILTON GARDEN INN 1940 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85027 RSVP: (480) 473-9450 by March 12th.

Vincent Esparza, CFP, CLU, NSSA 23335 N. 18th Dr. #136 | Phoenix, AZ 85027 480-473-9450 | www.vincentesparza.com Registered Representative offering securities through American Portfolios Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC Investment Advisory services offered through American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., and SEC Registered Investment Advisor - Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable and are subject to change without notification. The information presented is provided for informational purposes only and not to be construed as a recommendation or solicitation. Investors must make their own determination as to the appropriateness of an investment or strategy based on their specific investment objectives, financial status and risk tolerance. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Investments involve risk and the possible loss of principal.

8 • March 2019 • DEER VALLEY TIMES


ccording to an American Express study, female entrepreneurship grew by 114 percent between 1997 and 2017. In 2017, there were over 11.6 million female owned firms in the US, employing nearly 9 million people and generating approximately $1.7 trillion in revenue. These are great statistics, yet womenowned businesses are still making significantly less than their male counterparts, with 88 percent generating less than $100,000 in annual revenues. While some women’s businesses are struggling, others are soaring. Research has been done by many to uncover the reasons. Here are 4 key differences between the two types of women entrepreneurs. MINDSET Many women who build six, seven and eight-figure businesses are very clear on their purpose and how it will impact their life. This purpose is so impactful, it becomes their driving force. Some successful women are driven by a situation that has personally affected them – an experience that shattered their confidence or scared them so deeply that their purpose becomes to never be in that situation again. From this came an understanding that to build a highly profitable business, they sometimes have to say “no” to opportunities that are not directly part of their plan. This might not please everyone, but they understand that this is part of the price of success. AUDACITY High-earning women do what it takes to achieve their goals. They realize that stepping out of their comfort zone is necessary to reach their goals. They don’t see themselves as courageous, strong or fearless. Yet, their deep commitment to their purpose provides them with no alternative than to do things that they would otherwise avoid.

RESPECT FOR MONEY AND THEMSELVES High-earning women understand the importance of money and enjoy the freedom it provides them. Many women don’t see money as a sign of their accomplishments or as a boost to their ego, but instead as the gifts of their hard work. They ask to be paid their worth because they have self-respect and believe in the value they bring to others. Everything they do has an underlying profit motive. They never work for free. HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM High income earners know how arduous the road to success is. They know that there will be ups and downs; areas of certainty and parts unknown. Because of this, they have two groups of people who they can turn to. First, there are the people who they can ask for help – whether it is a mentor or a group of trusted peers. Successful women want to learn from the experiences of others. They realize what they don’t know can hurt them. They also have a group of encouragers. These are people who tell them they are great; who lift them up when they get knocked down. These people provide successful women with the resiliency to keep going. Ultimately, highly successful women have much in common with underearners. High-income earners are not born with these traits. Many have developed them through learning – experiential and instructional. Programs like The Wealth Women – Secrets of 6-Figure Women can help women explore their view and relationship with money and provide them with clear strategies to empower them to build the business of their dreams. Every female business owner should have the opportunity to build a business that provides them with financial independence. The Wealth Women workshops are the ticket to help them get there. Cindy Gordon partners with women who want to build successful businesses and get paid what they are worth. To find out more about her Wealth Women workshops contact her at info@BusinessRescueCoaching.com deervalleytimes.com

Profile for Deer Valley Times

Deer Valley Times, March 2019  

With each issue, the Deer Valley Times direct mails our community newspaper to more than 20,000 homes and businesses within 85027 & 85085 (D...

Deer Valley Times, March 2019  

With each issue, the Deer Valley Times direct mails our community newspaper to more than 20,000 homes and businesses within 85027 & 85085 (D...