March 2017 | Business View Magazine

2 3 From the Editor Al Krulick Editor-in-Chief A Editor-in-Chief Al Krulick Associate Editor Lorie Steiner Director of Advertising Lauren Blackwell Vice President of Business Development Erin O’Donoghue Research Directors Paul Payne Rohan Stewart Brendan McElroy Creative Director Dana Long Vice President of Production Aimy McGrew Vice President of Publishing Andre Barefield CGO Alexander Wynne-Jones COO Brian Andersen Executive Publisher / CEO Marcus VandenBrink USA Canada Caribbean Oceania Email for all inquiries: 12559 New Brittany Blvd Fort Myers, 33907 239.220.5554 Contact us As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”Well, it’s tax season, once again –and that’s for certain.And even though the vast majority of Ameri- cans will likely get through the next several weeks with only the tradition- al amount of grief,misery, and de- pression, a small number of us might wind up suffering additional angst by becoming victims of certain tax-time swindles perpetrated by sophisticated con artists who hope to take advan- tage of our natural proclivity to save a buck or two wherever and whenever we can. So, dear readers, please be beware of some of the most common scams you would do best to avoid while attempting to find ways to give Uncle Sam less than his due: Phishing: Con artists use un- solicited email and fake websites to lure potential victims into divulging personal information that will then be used to commit identity theft and fraud. Be leery of unexpected emails purportedly from the IRS promising refunds or threatening to collect past due amounts.They’re fake.The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpay- ers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Phone scams: Scammers impersonating IRS agents maymake aggressive or threatening calls de- manding money or offering a refund. Sometimes they even alter their caller ID information to appear as if they are calling from an IRS office. But that’s not how the IRS does business.The first IRS contact with taxpayers is usually via snail mail. Inflated refund claims: Beware of tax preparers who ask you to sign a blank check, promise big refunds before looking at your records, or charge fees based on a percentage of your refund.They use fliers, phony storefronts, and sometimes infiltrate community groups and churches. These scammers may file a false return in your name and take your refund. Do your due diligence before handing over your files to someone who may not be trustworthy. Fake charities: After disasters, it’s common for scammers to imper- sonate charities; some even contact victims, claiming to be with the IRS. These groups often have names sim- ilar to legitimate organizations. Don’t give out personal financial informa- tion or Social Security numbers.And don’t give or send cash.You can utilize the search feature on the IRS website to look up legitimate charities. Identity theft: One of the most common identity theft scams involves filing tax returns using stolen Social Security numbers. Protect your personal data; check your credit re- port annually, and reviewyour Social SecurityAdministration earnings statement each year to make sure you haven’t been targeted. These are just some of the most pervasive ways in which taxpayers can lose big time,while trying to save small amounts.You’d do best to stay aware and stay away. Next month,we’ll recount some of the ways in which taxpayers, them- selves, attempt to scam the IRS–all of which are equally questionable and utterly illegal. Continuously improving is at the core of BrandPoint Services’ DNA. Every job is surveyed and reviewed as part of our quality-control process, ensuring that we delivered on our promise. But we don’t stop there. We find opportunities to deliver an even better experience from location to location, project to project. When you choose BrandPoint, you won’t need to manage multiple suppliers. From painting and flooring to repairs and remodeling, BrandPoint is the solution for expert project management and quality work across North America. Learn how BrandPoint Services can help you improve your next multi-site program. 800.905.4342 © 2016 BrandPoint Services, Inc. PAINTING • GRAPHICS • FLOORING • SURVEYING • GENERAL REPAIRS Improving