If you usually wait until April to file your taxes, you might want to hurry up — before identity thieves beat you to it. Using stolen names and Social Security numbers, these criminals file fake tax returns with false wage and withholding information. This generates big — and fraudulent — refunds, before the real taxpayer gets around to filing.
The Internal Revenue Service says it's busy working to combat what prosecutors call a fraud epidemic.
Most taxpayers don't have any idea something is wrong until they hit the send button on their taxes and get an error message.
We were curious how hard it would be to set up an offshore company, so this summer we bought two. We at Planet Money are now the proud owners of "Unbelizable Inc." in Belize and "Delawho? LLC" in Delaware. The whole process was quick and easy.
At least that's how it seemed at first — until we got an email from David Buckley, a tax lawyer at Rogin Nassau, telling us we had just walked into an IRS sinkhole.
Buckley described it as "a minefield of U.S. tax obligations," and he said he was worried about me. (The companies are in my name.)
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:21 am
Credit Tom Pennington / Getty Images
For months, the tax-exempt Crossroads GPS has argued that its anti-Obama ads were merely issue ads and not political ads. No more. Today the group went up with ads explicitly telling viewers to vote against President Obama.
Co-founded by Republican operative Karl Rove, the group began running a 30-second spot Wednesday morning in Nevada that blames a weak economy and poor housing market on Obama and ends with the wording: "This election ... don't blow another vote on Obama."
After a scandal, somebody finally gets rich for doing the right thing. It's NPR's business news.
A former banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, has just been awarded $104 million by the IRS. That is believed to be the largest amount ever paid to an individual whistle-blower. Birkenfeld told the IRS how a Swiss bank was helping thousands of Americans evade taxes, and was then thrown in jail.