Showing posts from September, 2014

Scammers try to fool Tax and Business Lawyers

Most of my clients from around the world make their initial contact by email. It is usually a result of my website, blog posts (published on Tax Connections) and Avvo. Usually, they need a lawyer to negotiate a contract or deal with the IRS or State Tax agencies.

When I get an email from a foreign business, even if the English is not perfect,  I respond. Unfortunately, the scam artists love a response and try their version of the famous “Nigerian Scam.” The trick usually works that I need to review a simple contract, receive payment from the buyer, deposit it in my trust account and immediately send the money (minus an unusually hefty fee) to them. Of course the check is no good and they will sucker me.

The latest attempt was a so-called Japanese company selling a huge piece of equipment to a NJ business for $2 mil. The contract was one page and obviously not drafted by an attorney. There was a picture of construction equipment from a catalog. I emailed that I was not interested, but …

The NFL needed a Tax lawyer to deal with Ray Rice

Let’s review the facts: Ray Rice is a star NFL player. He is not a role model. He is not a minister. They pay him to be a “bruiser” and arguably a star attraction to the Baltimore Ravens. Rice clobbered his (now) wife in a domestic fight. The NFL kicked him out of the game. This hurt Rice, his wife (the victim?), his child and the Team.

The NFL argues they had to do it to clean up football. This is an example for children!

Well, maybe not. They banished Ray Rice. He is gone; disappeared. The Ravens are even offering refunds for Rice jerseys. The game will move on and he will disappear from the news. Not really much of a lesson. No discussions of the benefits of therapy, or the need for domestic violence education.

If the NFL instead had taken a tax lawyers approach, it might have been far more effective - better for the Ravens and better for the game. Instead of an “indefinite suspension,” the NFL should have simply punished Rice by forcing him to suit up for the season and sit at the…

The IRS is not calling to arrest you!

The IRS is not calling to arrest you!

Today, a new client appeared in my office and explained he needed a consultation right away.  This is very strange because most people call to set up an initial conference and we discuss the case on the telephone before meeting.  This man was middle-aged, dressed nicely, said he was an IT analyst, but was sweating and extremely nervous.  I asked him “what is wrong?”  He told me “the IRS called and said they had audited my tax returns, I owe a lot of money, and unless I contact the Restitution Department they are coming to arrest me.”

I immediately told him this was a scam.  He was still very concerned.  So I asked him for the telephone number of the so called “IRS” and I called using my speaker phone.  The person answered “IRS Department.”  I immediately knew this was a scam because no one from the IRS answers stating the word “Department” because it is not.  The person was quite difficult to understand and it was a poor connection.  I asked him w…