Richard A. Lindsey, CPA

Lindsey & Waldo, LLC – Certified Public Accountants

  • Aug 24

    There are many tax scams that go on not just during tax season, but all year round. These scams are perpetrated not only by individuals trying to get your money, but also unscrupulous tax preparers telling you that they, and often they alone, can get you a HUGE refund.  Below are some of these scams…BEWARE!

    1. Phone Calls and Emails from the IRS. The IRS mandates that tax professionals file returns electronically and they really like to withdraw the money you owe from your bank account. But, no matter how electronic the IRS is going, they will NEVER send you an unsolicited email. If you get an email from an IRS “representative,” hit delete and notify the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. This is not the IRS.
    2. Cultural or Religious Deductions Suggested. If you have a preparer that says you don’t have to pay your taxes because you are part of some religious or ethnic group, something is wrong and it is probably a scam. These scammers usually make a notation on the tax return and “work” the numbers so you get a refund of everything paid in during the year.
    3. Unannounced Visits. The IRS does not show up to your home unannounced. You will know they are coming. The IRS typically communicates by snail mail, so if someone is at your door flashing their “credentials,” wanting to discuss a possible audit or your tax return from last year, make sure the deadbolt is locked! Whoever it is does not work for the IRS.
    4. Lousy Grammar. More often than not, when a scammer sends you that email or snail mail, there will be some sort of poor grammar in it. Scammers, for the most part, are not the most educated, so look for broken or poor English to give them away.
    5. Using Old Tax Laws. Scammers use old tax laws to get information from victims. Sometimes, they will find an old tax form and ask you to complete this form. What you don’t know is the form expired in 2009. The scammer is looking to get personal information from you.
  • Aug 10

    Unless you’ve been on vacation without any television or internet, or in a cave somewhere deep in Afghanistan, you know:

    The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld the largest set of tax changes in more than 20 years!

    Yes, I’m talking about Obamacare. While the Supreme Court’s June 28th decision keeps in place the most significant reform to health care in the United States since the enactment of Medicare under LBJ in 1965, it also retains the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years.

    While the White House celebrated millions of Americans gaining access to insurance, many others, like the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), decried the stunning decision as a dangerous expansion of the federal government. Chief Justice John Roberts stretched the definition of a tax in order to uphold the law. Nowhere else in our tax law do we call a fine, or a penalty for violation of the law, a tax.

    Now, I’ll admit there are certain unfairnesses in our private health care system that need to be addressed, such as denying people coverage because of pre-existing conditions or capping the coverage of someone with a catastrophic illness. But, I continue to oppose Obamacare because of the real concern that the law rest on the presumption that the government can either impose higher and higher taxes or incur larger and larger deficits.

    There are 27 tax provisions in Obamacare, including:

    • An increase in the floor for deducting medical expenses from 7.5% to 10%;
    • A new 0.9% Medicare tax on wages above $200,000 ($250,000 if married, filing joint);
    • A new “responsibility payment” for some employers who cannot afford to offer health insurance;
    • A new 10% tax on indoor tanning services;
    • New fees on health insurance plans, drug manufacturers and medical device manufacturers;
    • A new 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income when your income exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 if married, filing joint).

    There can be no doubt– Obama and the Congress are after our money, in bigger ways than anyone could ever have imagined!

    The future is uncertain. We all fear taxes are going to sky-rocket. Starting January 1, 2013, Americans face a $494 billion tax increase, the largest ever in one year. Heritage Research shows the average family will see a tax increase of $4,138. Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, called it a “massive fiscal cliff” for the economy. According to The Washington Post, congressional aides have taken to calling it “taxmageddon.” There will be a fight, but no one is ready for the full scale assault the leaders in Washington are setting in motion.

    Everything you own will be affected by Obama!

    You know that our country is in a real mess. And to be fair to President Obama, some of this disaster was inherited. But, instead of taking common sense measures that would help things, the President is “hell-bent” on a path that will make the problems even worse. No matter what your income bracket, your age, or net worth, everything you own is subject to attack.

    New tax hikes don’t sound so bad until they affect your family! You probably don’t consider yourself rich, so while it may sound good to “soak the rich” with more taxes, the reality is that any time this has been attempted by Congress, the result has been higher unemployment and lower standard of living. Think back to the “Carter years.” He raised taxes and the economy went down the tubes. When you could get them, mortgages were 17%. Well, here we go again. Whether your income is modest or super high, the new higher taxes will affect you directly. What they don’t seem to get is that sounding good and putting people to work are two different things.

    I know you’ve heard it before…

    But, it’s true, the best time to get prepared for our uncertain future is right now! Putting it off only compresses your time to act, limits your choices and costs you money. Maybe you plan…or maybe you’d rather fly by the seat of your pants. I understand. I spent 15 years working in-the-trenches in the family business before I became a CPA. I know where you’re coming from. I’ve been there too.

    So, I’m not suggesting you come in for a paid planning consultation. (I’m not trying to drum up business.) You might not need good, solid, actionable, proactive advice. If so, fine.

    Either way, you owe it to yourself to check out my best-selling book, Breaking the Tax Code. In it, I, along with other top tax professionals from around the country reveal tax secrets and strategies to help small(er) business people “break the tax code” and keep more of what they earn.

    Alabama Congressman Jo Bonner said, “A copy belongs on everyone’s desk.”

    Breaking the Tax Code guides you, with the advice of leading tax professionals, like me, how to legally plan for, and minimize your tax burden while maximizing your cash flow. Whether you’re a millionaire or you’re just starting to build your nest egg, this book will lead you on the path to greater financial freedom with the turn of every page. These are proven strategies to legally minimize your taxes and help you keep more of what you earn.

    Don’t worry about getting bogged down in tax Mumbo-Jumbo, as the Mobile Chamber’s Business View said: “Its simple format can be understood by all taxpayers.”

     

    YES! Richard, please send me a copy of your best-selling book, Breaking the Tax Code. I understand the book is free, but I am willing to help you out with the small shipping and handling charge of $6.95.

    Name

    Address

    City                                            State                                                   Zip

    o $6.95 Check enclosed or o Credit Card

    Credit Card Number

    Expiration Date

    Fax to: (251) 633-4071 or mail to: Zevac & Lindsey, 1050 Hillcrest Rd., Suite A, Mobile, AL 36695