It’s Tax Time – Scam Alert!

scam alertDid you get an email in January claiming to be from the IRS warning you that you need to update the information on your W2 form? We hope you didn’t click on the link or fill out a form, because the IRS never sends unsolicited emails to taxpayers.

Tax time isn’t the only time for scams. The perennial “Treasury Department” email scam states that a refund or tax inheritance is waiting for you. You just need to provide a little personal information on a “fake” official-looking form. Don’t open the form.

Here are some tips to help you recognize a scam:

  1. If the IRS needs information, they will send a letter. You will NOT be asked to send information through email.
  2. Do not click on any links in unknown emails. It could infect your computer with viruses and spyware.
  3. Do not give out personal information, including SSN, home address and birth date to anyone who emails or calls you.
  4. If the email has a lot of punctuation and spelling errors, that’s a heads up that it’s probably not an official letter.
  5. Look at the “from” email address or URL, it will always have a clue that it comes from somewhere other than the IRS.
  6. Don’t be fooled by “official looking” formatting. Anyone can obtain the IRS logo and use it illegally.

Last year, the IRS published the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams of 2012. It’s a smart idea to review the list, and be aware that schemers are always coming up with something new.

If you or the elderly person you care about need help organizing your personal financial records for tax preparation, we can help. Give Diana a call at (513) 300-5141 or emailtoday. It may seem a long time off now, but April 15 is just around the corner.

2013 – The Year to Take Money Management Seriously

December came and went, the Mayans were wrong, the world didn’t end. But heading into 2013, the dire news for seniors living on a fixed income just got started.

2013 beach surf sceneA year ago last October seniors got good news when the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was a robust 3.6 percent and Medicare Part B increases were barely noticeable. This October? Not so much.

The Social Security COLA was a paltry 1.7 percent – an average $21 per month for individuals and $34 per month for couples. Considerably less than what seniors expected, and needed, heading into 2013.

Medicare Part B premiums for most of Medicare beneficiaries will increase $5, from $99.90 per month to $104.90 in 2013, but deductibles will increase by $7 to $147. For some, this can wipe out the small COLA increase.

And for those retirees who enjoy the monthly conversations with their friendly bank teller – well, those will soon be but a memory as the U.S. Treasury stops mailing paper checks in March 2013. If you or a senior you care about isn’t already banking online, it’s time to get set up.

For those of us still paying into Social Security, the news isn’t much better. Workers will pay 4.2% more of their income and almost 10 million people will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable minimum.

The bottom line is this: if you or your aging parent(s) are not taking money management seriously, 2013 may be a good time to start. Whether you’re already living on a fixed income, or simply care about someone else who is, it costs you nothing to have a confidential conversation about how personal money management with DL MoneyMatters can help:

  • Budget for expected expenses
  • Set up online banking for seniors
  • Create a personal financial money management plan
  • Say good-bye to the stress associated with bill paying

If you know someone who might sleep better knowing that a trusted, bonded, professional is guiding them through the 2013 maze of changes, call Diana at (513) 300-5141 or drop us a note.