MacDirectory Magazine

Rachel Gray

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 80 of 139

Bogus Unemployment Claims Lots of people were out of work last year due to COVID-19, and the scammers knew this. Scammers being scammers, they filed lots of fake unemployment claims using people’s stolen personal data. But now it’s tax time, and unemployment benefits need to be reported on tax returns with IRS Form 1099-G. Some taxpayers have received a 1099-G — even though they never filed for or received unemployment benefits! If you get an unexpected 1099-G, don’t ignore it: Someone may have made an unemployment benefits claim in your name, and the IRS doesn’t know that it wasn’t you! You need to contact the state agency that issued the 1099-G and tell them what happened. They’ll be able to help you obtain a corrected 1099-G that shows you never received any benefits. Fake Debt Relief Lots of people are going through tough financial times right now, and that includes people who are behind on their taxes. Unfortunately, scammers are trying to take advantage of that by reaching out to people and telling them about “offer-in-compromise” (OIC) deals with the IRS. OIC is a way for delinquent taxpayers to settle their tax debt for a fraction of what they actually owe. OIC deals are legitimate, but they’re extremely rare: Most people won’t qualify for them. Predatory debt relief firms who contact delinquent taxpayers talking about OIC are at best making promises they can’t keep, and at worst, using the lure of an OIC settlement to steal people’s personal data or charge them excessive service fees. If you’re having tax issues, the best thing to do is to ignore anyone who reaches out to you directly telling you that you can settle your tax debt for “pennies on the dollar”. Instead, contact a reputable, licensed financial planner, tax attorney, or accountant. They’ll give you the help and advice you need, and let you know what your best course of action is. Recovery Rebate Tax Scams Last year, there were tons of scams around the COVID-19 relief packages, and now that it’s tax season, the scammers may have one last trick up their sleeves. People who never got their stimulus funds, or who got the wrong amount, may be approached by scammers offering to help them recover their relief payments. Such offers of “help” are not legitimate: Scammers use the issue of missing stimulus funds to trick people into giving them personal data or money. If someone reaches out to you about COVID-19 relief, don’t listen to them, give them any information, or send them any money. If you really need to recover stimulus funds that you never received, or if you need to correct an underpayment, you have to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your taxes this year (if you’re eligible). If you file your own taxes, you can look up “Recovery Rebate Credit” on the IRS website for more details, or you can ask the support team for your tax prep software if you’re e-filing. If someone else is doing your taxes for you, it’s even easier: Just ask your licensed tax preparer about it, and they’ll let you know if you qualify for the credit, and what you have to do.

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