Did a thief beat you to filing your own taxes this year? More and more Americans are finding that someone has taken over their identity to file a fraudulent tax return in their name and collect the refund check. In the first half of 2013, 1. 6 million taxpayers were hit by tax identity theft, compared to just 271,000 in all of 2010, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported. The increased use of electronic filing means that fraudsters are able to file how To Make Money Illegally greater number of returns more quickly and with little or no documentation.
Unfortunately, the number of false returns may not be coming down any time soon. A GAO report just named the IRS’s ability to address tax refund fraud and identity theft as one of the government’s top weaknesses. Call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 right away so that they can begin the process of verifying your information. You’ll also need to fill out an identity theft affidavit, or Form 14039, so that the IRS can place an alert on your account. Also report the theft to the police. While law enforcement is unlikely to investigate, many government agencies and credit bureaus require an official theft report to help you solve the fall-out. When you call the IRS about the ID theft, have old copies of your tax returns from the past two or three years out. Valrie Chambers, a CPA and Stetson University accounting professor. By providing additional information that the IRS can check against, you strengthen your case that your return is the legitimate one.
For example, an ID thief is unlikely to know that you got divorced two years ago and stopped filing jointly, but this fact can easily be checked by the IRS, giving your filed return more credibility. While you’re searching for those forms, also pull out your driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, two recent utility bills, and, if you’re married, your marriage certificate. You’ll need to mail in copies of all these documents as well as your police report in order for the IRS to verify your tax return and rule the other one fraudulent, says CPA Art Auerbach, who has worked with tax refund theft victims. Once you report the fraud and fill out the affidavit, the IRS should issue you a personal identification number to provide another layer of security. You’ll need to submit this PIN along with your Social Security number when you file any tax form going forward so that the IRS knows to carefully check over your account. As an identity theft victim, you’ll get a new PIN every year. If you live in the tax fraud hotbeds of Florida, Georgia, and D. PIN without having been an ID theft victim, thanks to a new IRS initiative.
To get the six-digit number, you need to register and verify your identity online. You can sign up on the IRS website. CPA Troy Lewis, chairman of the American Institute of CPAs’ tax executive committee. These alerts, which last 90 days but can be renewed, warn potential creditors or lenders that you are an identity theft victim and that they must verify your identity before issuing credit. You can go a step further by placing a credit freeze on your files, which instructs the credit agencies to prevent new creditors from viewing your credit score and report. A freeze will keep you from accessing instant credit too. If you need to apply for a loan, you will need to give the agency permission to thaw your data, and in some cases you’ll pay a fee to lift the freeze, which can take a few days. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies. Check them carefully for unauthorized activity.
Look at your history as well as recent activity. Just because you were first alerted to the problem through a false tax return does not mean that’s where the ID theft started. If you see errors in your report, such as wrong personal information, accounts you didn’t open or debts you didn’t incur, dispute those errors with each credit agency and the fraud department of the businesses reporting that inaccurate information. In the past, most thieves collected data about a taxpayer and then created an account at a tax preparation software site to file a false return. Thieves know that people use the same password at multiple websites. Follow this guide to make it as secure as possible. If you use your tax prep password at your bank or any other site with personal information, change that password too.
The IRS says a typical case of ID theft can take 180 days to resolve. And even after you’ve cleared up this year’s tax mess, tax and credit fraud can be a recurring problem. When a thief beats you to filing, the IRS will flag your legit return and process it manually, scrutinizing every detail to figure out which return is authentic. This means your refund could be delayed for months. The IRS will always pay you your refund, regardless of whether it already paid it out to a fraudster. If your tax fraud case hasn’t been resolved and you’re experiencing financial difficulties because of the holdup with your refund, contact the taxpayer advocate service at 877-777-4778.
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Money laundering is a term used to describe a scheme in which criminals try to disguise the identity, original ownership, and destination of money that they have obtained through criminal conduct. The laundering is done with the intention of making it seem that the proceeds have come from a legitimate source. A simpler definition of money laundering would be a series of financial transactions that are intended to transform ill-gotten gains into legitimate money or other assets. The act of disguising the source or true nature of money obtained through illegal means.
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Different jurisdictions, both foreign and domestic, have their own specific definitions of what acts constitute the crime of money laundering. 300 billion is laundered each year in the United States alone. Returning the money back into the financial world so that it appears legitimate. Of these steps, placement of the money into financial institutions is the most difficult. To circumvent this step then, launderers funnel cash through a legitimate high-cash business, such as a check cashing service, bar, nightclub, or convenience store. Ways Criminals Avoid Detection Large scale criminal groups may use complex money laundering techniques in order to avoid detection.
However, smaller scale criminals or first time offenders often use simpler methods in their attempt avoid detection. For example, Sally steals a large amount of cash from her business. She wants the money to go undetected, so instead of making one large deposit into her savings or banking account, she breaks the money up and deposits one small amount each week. This ensures the bank does not look at her transaction suspiciously since it is uncommon for her to deposit large sums of money.
Money Laundering Techniques There are many forms of money laundering though some are more common and profitable than others. Bulk cash smuggling involves literally smuggling cash into another country for deposit into offshore banks or other type of financial institutions that honor client secrecy. Trade-based laundering is similar to embezzlement in that invoices are altered to show a higher or lower amount in order to disguise the movement of money. Cash-intensive business occurs when a business that legitimately deals with large amounts of cash uses its accounts to deposit money obtained from both everyday business proceeds and money obtained through illegal means.
Businesses able to claim all of these proceeds as legitimate income include those that provide services rather than goods, such as strip clubs, car washes, parking buildings or lots, and other businesses with low variable costs. Shell companies and trusts are used to disguise the true owner or agent of a large amount of money. Bank capture refers to the use of a bank owned by money launderers or criminals, who then move funds through the bank without fear of investigation. Real estate laundering occurs when someone purchases real estate with money obtained illegally, then sells the property. This makes it seem as if the profits are legitimate. Casino laundering involves an individual going into a casino with illegally obtained money.
The individual purchases chips with the cash, plays for a while, then cashes out the chips, and claims the money as gambling winnings. Anti-Money Laundering Laws Anti-money laundering laws reflect an effort made the government to stop money laundering methods that involve financial institutions. 1989 by a coalition of countries. This intergovernmental agency was designed to develop and promote international cooperation for combating money laundering. As of 2015, the FATF is comprised of 34 different countries, but the agency is always seeking to expand its membership to more regions.
Congress in 1970, as an effort to combat the use of financial institutions in money laundering crimes. Other Anti-Money Laundering Regulations Since the BSA was created, many other legislative acts and money laundering regulations have came about to strengthen the movement. The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986, which prohibits engaging in any transactions involving proceeds generated from illegal activities. The 1992 Annunzio-Wylie Anti-Money Laundering Act, which requires more strict sanctions for violations of the BSA, and requiring additional verifications, recordkeeping, and reporting for wire transfers. The Money Laundering Suppression Act of 1994 requires banks to develop and institute training in anti money laundering examination procedures. The Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Strategy Act of 1998 requires banking agencies to develop training for examiners. Unfortunately, as these money laundering regulations are put into place, criminals work to find new methods to prevent their activity from becoming detected or considered suspicious.
The Role of Financial Institutions in Combating Money Laundering In this age of electronic transactions to and from financial institutions around the globe, anti money laundering laws attempt to quell money laundering by requiring these institutions to identify and report suspicious activities. Penalties for Money Laundering The penalties for money laundering vary greatly depending on the circumstance and the amount of funds involved. The penalties may also vary if the acts occurred in more than one jurisdiction. In addition to imprisonment, punishment for money laundering may include large fines, restitution, and community service.
Money Laundering Example Cases Money laundering is not uncommon, but some money laundering cases have met the spotlight due to the severity of the act, or the amount of money involved in the crime. Large-scale money laundering cases often involve global transactions. Below are some famous examples of money laundering cases. 2 billion in fines after it was discovered that the financial institution laundered money for drug traffickers, terrorists, and other organized crime groups throughout Iran. The laundering went on for many years before the activity was detected. In 2014, BNP Paribas, a French bank with global headquarters in London, pled guilty to falsifying business records after it was discovered the institution violated U. 9 billion which is the largest fine ever imposed for violating those sanctions.
In the 1980s, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a bank registered in Luxembourg and with offices in London, was found guilty of laundering an amount of money estimated to be in the billions for drug traffickers. A person authorized to act on behalf of someone else, such as an employee, broker, or sales representative. Any valuable thing or property owned by a person or entity, regarded as being of value. The act of stealing or misappropriating funds. Please indicate if you are a lawyer. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Menu IconA vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. The Trump administration appears to be moving ahead with its threat to separate children from families who cross the US-Mexico border illegally. Officials from the Health and Human Services Department are reportedly preparing to scout a handful of military bases in Texas and Arkansas where the agency may house some migrant children. The Washington Post first reported that development on Tuesday, citing an email sent to Pentagon staffers.