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Tax 'season' and the scare tactics that follow
Senior moments
You can contact Rich DeLong at 912-531-7867 or - photo by File photo

Tax day has come and gone once again, and my life has returned to a peaceful pitch.

I hate doing taxes. Though a refund can take some of the sting out of this exercise, it’s more about the process of rummaging through the return itself that creams my corn. Did I remember to take all the credits that I am due? Do I claim my child that still lives with me even though they shouldn’t be living with me anymore (just kidding, baby)?

And what about that giant, albeit one-time, ad valorem tax one pays when purchasing a car – that apparently is not tax deductible because it is only a one-time assessment? The IRS is killing me, man. I go from this mild mannered kinda guy and turn into a 1040 form of "Jack the Ripper."

Yes, I know. I wait way too long to start the process of completing our return. But does anybody really want to run through a ring of fire for 10 hours with a calculator in one hand and a file of receipts in the other? I have learned to face the fact that by the end of the day I’m getting burned.

Even the online tax preparation sites, which have helped this process immensely, know what you’re going through. So they throw in a few motivating zingers along the way like, "You’re almost finished," and, "Just a few more steps to go," and my personal favorite, "Congratulations! Because you paid for expensive health insurance all year long you do not have a penalty."

Woo hoo!

So now let’s add insult to injury why don’t we? During the actual time I am processing numbers and flipping through W-2s, I get a call from some guy saying I owe the IRS money due to taxes I never paid. Really??? And if I want to avoid being prosecuted and possibly being thrown in jail, I need to pay him now.

Obviously, he doesn’t know that I’m already in IRS @*&% and prison at this point would be an upgrade.

These phone scams are on the rise and increase exponentially around tax time – I refuse to call it a season. Seasons are for hunting and baseball.

Anyway, the IRS will never call you about your taxes. They will find you eventually, but they do not call.

This sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be IRS employees using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims, many who are elderly, are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a gift card or wire transfer. Reports of people being threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license are common.

In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an "urgent" callback request. I have received those messages, as well.

The best advice I can offer is to hang up on the slime ball when he calls. And don’t return the message either.

You can report these calls to the IRS, but it honestly will do no good. These cretins will continue to prey on people as long as they pay.

Your best defense is to become educated and heed the above advice – for which there is no charge or tax burden, my friends!

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