Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

IRS

August 13, 2020 - 12:53pm
posted by Press Release in crime, news, deportation scam, Federal Trade Commission, IRS.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department has been made aware of a scam in which suspects will contact immigrants claiming to be government agents.

The suspects will inform the individuals that their accounts have been flagged for sending money to terrorist organizations and demand that the individuals send them gift cards to correct the issue. The suspects will threaten to have the individuals deported if they do not comply.

The United States Government will never require the purchasing of gift cards to clear any issues. Citizens who receive these calls should never comply and not provide any personal information to the suspects.

Follows these tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help avoid fraud:

  1. Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
  2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
  3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.

Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job.

  1. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.
  2. Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards (like MoneyPak or Reloadit) and gift cards (like iTunes or Google Play). Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.
  3. Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
  4. Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.
  5. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
  6. Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
  7. Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams. Get the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox.

If you spot a scam, report it at ftc.gov/complaint. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.

April 4, 2020 - 12:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in IRS, social security, COVID-19, CARES Act, news, Charles Schumer.

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Friday (April 3) that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has heeded his call and will reverse the guidance issued earlier this week requiring Social Security recipients file a tax return in order to receive the direct cash assistance.

Schumer explained that the reversal is essential to the wellbeing of seniors and disabled New Yorkers because the original IRS requirement of filing a tax return in order to receive the direct assistance would have placed an undue burden on vulnerable individuals, especially seniors, who are already facing tremendous stress as the most at-risk population during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

“After successfully pushing for streamlined payments to New York seniors and most vulnerable in last week’s emergency relief package, the IRS turned around and issued bureaucratic and unreasonable guidance, complicating the process and making it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to quickly get the money they deserve,” Senator Schumer said.

“I’m glad the IRS heeded my call and reversed course, because asking vulnerable individuals living in the epicenter of this global pandemic to jump through unnecessary hoops to get their much-needed cash assistance is irresponsible. The new IRS guidance puts the well-being of these New Yorkers first and achieves the intended goal I so fiercely fought for: get New Yorkers the money they deserve and need to help get through this difficult time as quickly as possible.”

The IRS guidance released on March 30th outlined that Social Security beneficiaries would need to file tax returns in order to receive direct cash assistance, even though the CARES Act explicitly provided the Treasury Department the authority to release cash to those beneficiaries directly.

Schumer opposed the original guidance, saying that the contradicting information only added to the confusion individuals are already facing. The new guidance from the IRS follows the provisions in the Schumer-negotiated CARES Act, providing an avenue for direct cash assistance for the most vulnerable populations.

According to the Social Security Administration, New York has more than 3 million retired and disabled workers receiving Social Security benefits. Below is a breakdown of impacted New Yorkers in each county:

County

Retired Workers on SS

Disabled Workers on SS

Albany

44,140

8,610

Allegany

7,755

1,770

Bronx

126,160

39,975

Broome

32,520

7,395

Cattaraugus

13,290

3,330

Cayuga

12,520

2,590

Chautauqua

23,110

5,245

Chemung

14,500

3,780

Chenango

8,945

2,120

Clinton

12,845

4,025

Columbia

11,595

2,010

Cortland

7,140

1,475

Delaware

8,670

1,615

Dutchess

42,825

8,480

Erie

141,520

30,830

Essex

7,090

1,375

Franklin

7,830

2,065

Fulton

9,405

2,585

Genesee

9,915

2,080

Greene

8,690

2,015

Hamilton

1,360

140

Herkimer

11,305

2,375

Jefferson

14,765

3,530

Kings

238,735

47,025

Lewis

4,080

890

Livingston

10,330

2,090

Madison

10,780

2,100

Monroe

114,385

23,940

Montgomery

9,015

2,145

Nassau

193,170

24,700

New York

194,710

27,880

Niagara

35,840

8,990

Oneida

37,425

8,825

Onondaga

69,845

14,310

Ontario

19,910

3,315

Orange

45,415

10,070

Orleans

6,465

1,630

Oswego

18,035

4,910

Otsego

10,725

1,870

Putnam

13,965

2,225

Queens

251,800

36,485

Rensselaer

24,115

5,190

Richmond

60,895

13,755

Rockland

41,320

5,230

St. Lawrence

16,650

4,610

Saratoga

37,175

5,840

Schenectady

22,935

5,120

Schoharie

5,515

1,125

Schuyler

3,535

740

Seneca

5,765

1,305

Steuben

16,310

3,785

Suffolk

210,475

37,530

Sullivan

11,995

2,890

Tioga

8,655

1,770

Tompkins

12,340

1,925

Ulster

29,810

5,945

Warren

13,170

2,720

Washington

9,990

2,570

Wayne

15,850

3,525

Westchester

128,465

15,680

Wyoming

6,640

1,375

Yates

4,650

820

NYS Total

2,548,783

486,264

May 23, 2008 - 5:24pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in city council, City Hall, finance, IRS.

The departure Wednesday of the city's finance director was announced jointly with the news that the IRS had placed a lien on a city bank account owing to a "reporting error" in payroll that would have been handled by the finance office. Within hours of both announcements — following a closed-door meeting that morning — City Manager Jason Molino said that any penalties owed from the lien were revoked because the error had already been rectified.

Lickety split, Batavia was in... and out of a mess.

Yet, articles in the Daily News yesterday and today raise a few questions about the issue that still haven't been answered by the city. Molino refused to specify the error. He also said that connecting the departure of former Deputy Finance Director Shelly D'Alba with the IRS lien would be a mistake.

For sure, we must keep in mind the delicate nature of a "personnel matter" and not go smearing a city employee — with or without all the facts. There's never any excuse for slander. But that doesn't mean we don't deserve to get at the truth of the thing, find out what's going on without naming names and pointing fingers.

In an article in the Daily News today, City Council President Charlie Mallow said that "the city received several notices, sent to the person handling that" (the payroll error discovered by the IRS). And, more straightforward, reporter Joanne Beck writes: "D'Alba would have been the person to handle the filing."

In an earlier article, Molino said that his office had only recently found out about the error discovered by the IRS. That begs the question: If the city manager only found out about the problem once the IRS placed the lien on the account, what happened with the "several notices" that were sent to the city, some dating back to last spring?

Mallow said he could not speak on behalf of the city manager. An e-mail and a telephone call to Molino made earlier today have not yet been returned. Mallow did caution, however, against "connecting the dots" and relating matters that may not be directly linked.

In the same article, Mallow spoke optimistically of the current state of the city. Residents should not be worried by the recent departures. The city is in transition. Not everyone will stick around through such drastic changes, he said. Besides, the position of public works director has already been incorporated into the workload of the assistant city manager. An interim police chief should be appointed within a couple weeks. And an interim fire chief should soon follow. As for the new vacancy of deputy finance director, the city will have to wait and see, he said. For now, the responsibilities of that position will fall to the city manager and assistant city manager.

Mallow told the Daily News: "It's good to shake the apple cart about. There's no cause for concern at all. Strategic changes are planned."

There was no mention in the article of what "strategic changes" have been planned to deal with the glut of empty positions. So we asked Mallow if he could explain the connection. His response: consolidation.

"Our workforce is getting older in the city," he said. "In the next five years, we'll have 30 people who can retire. So we're at a very good point to consider consolidating."

Grants have come through to study the possibility of consolidating, merging positions, sharing responsibilities with the county and the city. Mallow feels strongly about the issue, and seems to see it as the city's way out of a future financial crisis.

"In the next five years, we'll have 30 people who can retire," he said. "So we're at a very good point to consider consolidating."

That could mean big changes for the city. Mallow:

"There might be an elimination of city borders, but that requires the town to buy in and that our finances are in order. We're pulling out of our financial problems. But a big glut of money will be needed for retirements, and insurance for our employees is something that needs to be taken care of."

In the meantime, it seems the city staff simply needs to get settled, the real responsibilities of each employee pretty clearly defined, and the public notified of just who does what down at City Hall.

Previous related posts:

 

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button

News Break