By Dominique Nichols, Forensic Accountant
In today’s world identity theft is a growing threat to many individuals. Social media allows easy access to personal information with little effort by the thief. Florida leads the nation in identity theft and as such residents and property owners need to take extra steps to ensure that their identity is safe.
Federal IP Pin
The IRS has initiated an IP Pin in order to verify the identity of the taxpayers. Residents who filed their federal tax return last year in the state of Florida should be filing for an IRS IP Pin to protect their identity and their tax returns. Georgia and the District of Columbia are both high risk areas and those taxpayers should also be getting an IP Pin. A current scam being used is for fraudsters to use a taxpayer’s private information to file fake returns in order to receive the refund. Additionally, Florida’s freedom of information statues makes business information available online to the public. This information is being exploited in order to file false tax returns as a business. The fraudsters will then use that information to acquire business loans without the owner of the business knowing. Once, loan funds have been disbursed under false pretenses the fraudster goes underground and leaves the real business owner with the loan balance.
To apply for the IRS IP Pin: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-An-Identity-Protection-PIN
Proper Accounting Practices
Proper accounting structure for businesses, property owners or individuals alike support activities that allow owners to clearly understand their expenses and productivity while preventing fraud. Outlined budgets and structure, creates a framework for owners to monitor change, growth and expansion while adequately meeting expectations for income, customers and vendors. The creation of cash flow forecasts based on the historical record or industry standards, can help the ownership have a numerical snapshot of how revenue and expense streams should be aligned over time. This allows the decision makers the ability to have a broader picture of the how best to grow their finances and take a re-look in the next period at what the forecasted and actuals were in order to construct prudent practices.
Simms Financial Consulting