By Samantha Gowen, The Press-Enterprise (TNS)
The IRS is sending out a scam alert to business owners regarding a pandemic-related employee retention credit that’s getting some nefarious attention from marketing fraudsters.
Calling it a “barrage of aggressive broadcast advertising, direct mail solicitations and online promotions,” the IRS says promoters are “wildly misrepresenting and exaggerating who can qualify for the credits.”
To beat back the scammers, the IRS says it’s stepping up audits and criminal probes.
“They can pocket handsome fees while leaving those claiming the credit at risk of having the claims denied or facing scenarios where they need to repay the credit,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.
The ERC, when properly claimed, is a refundable tax credit aimed at businesses that continued paying employees while they were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses also could have suffered from “a significant decline in gross receipts during the eligibility periods.”
The credit is not available to individuals.
The IRS encourages anyone who is being pushed into applying for credit to report it to the agency. To do so, there’s a form to fill out and should be mailed to the following address:
Internal Revenue Service Lead Development Center
24000 Avila Road, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677-3405
The form can also be faxed to 877-477-9135.
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