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Tax Time Scams – Here We Go Again

It’s that time of year again, that time when you have to file your tax returns. It is also the time of year where the scammers come out of the woodwork to try to steal your money and/or identity. Scammers will try many different things to get information from you, with the list below a selection of the some of the most common ones for 2017 (so far).

  1. Email Phishing – Scammers will send an email to you that appears to be from the IRS saying such things as “You must pay this tax amount now” and “Send your information to this email to avoid penalties”. Be very cautious of these emails and don’t hesitate to ask a tax professional for any advice on how to proceed.
  2. Phone Scams – The IRS will NEVER call people randomly and say that they must make a payment immediately. They will always contact you by U.S. mail first. If you receive a call that you feel may be alarming or threatening just hang up and report it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.
  3. Email Look-A-Like – Tax preparers will send you emails from time to time to talk about tax prep and planning, but this new type of scamming is when a scammer will send a tax related email to you, but from a fake email address that looks very similar to the ones we use. For instance, ehastings@bvcocpas.com is a proper email from Barnard Vogler & Co., but be sure that you are not getting an email from ehastings@outlook.com. That is a fake email, where the scammer just looks for you to send your information to them or attach a pdf that you go and open, which can include a virus. This one is tricky, but pay attention to all emails that you receive to avoid this scam.

These are just a few scams of the many that are out there. Educate yourself by going to IRS.gov and report any phishing emails to


Modern day business is built on constant competition and an ever changing landscape, where CEO’s must take risks to survive. Risk-taking is something that happens in everyday business and those that have good results from the risks are given bonuses. What if the CEO received a bonus from good results in the current year and then 3 years down the road that risk had then flipped and the company tanks? Should the CEO be liable?

Well, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, that very thing is being proposed on Large Firm Wall Street Bankers. The thought is that their bonuses be deferred over four years and any actions that hurt the firms or a financial statement restatement would have a “claw back” affect over a period of seven years. The CEO’s would have to pay back a portion of their bonuses. There is already a form of “claw back” that is in place, but it is less stringent and only goes back about three years. Regulators are presuming that issues arising from the CEO’s decisions usually take more than three years to show up; thus the reason why they are proposing pushing the time limit to seven years. The purpose of the proposition is to combat and prevent another recession by holding CEO’s more accountable.

The issue that has been raised is if this passes, would the CEO’s adjust their pay structure? Would they opt for more stock and salary instead of bonus structure?



On the ballot in November will be a tax rate adjustment that’s worth taking a look at: Sales Tax. The proposed sales tax hike would increase Washoe County sales tax from 7.725% to 8.265%, which would make Washoe County the highest tax rate in Nevada. The current high is in Clark County at 8.15%. To put this into perspective – if you bought an iPhone and it cost $400 pre-tax, the cost would go from $430.90 to $433.06 after tax under the new sales tax rate. The committee overseeing the proposal had several different options to choose from including sales tax, property tax, car registration, hotel room tax, and real-estate transfers before settling on sales tax for the final proposal.

Where would the money go?

The money received from the tax increase is to go to Washoe County schools, which currently are overcrowded and underfunded. However, the sales tax increase would be effective indefinitely. The intent is to allow the school district to use $781 million in bonds to fund school projects over the next 20 years to be used along with the $315 million in rollover bonds granted from state lawmakers stemming from the 2002 ballot election for Washoe County Schools that expired in 2012. According to the Reno Gazette Journal, the proposed fixes to the schools are: additions to Damonte Ranch High School, existing school repairs, three new middle schools, three new high schools, repurpose Hug High School, nine new elementary schools, expand Sparks High School, invest in older schools, expand nutrition services, and expand the transportation yard.

Where are Nevada schools ranked?

Currently, Nevada ranks lasts in education ranking in the nation; according to a report in the Reno Gazette Journal. Nevada also ranks 48th for school funding, only paying about $8,200 per student, when the national average is $11,700 per student.


The name says it all – it is just that, a tax on athletes. Well, at least it started out that way. The Jock Tax has its beginning in 1991 in California, when Michael Jordan beat the Lakers in the NBA finals. California decided they wanted to tax Jordan for his wages while in the state of California as earnings in California. Illinois then came back with their “Michael Jordan’s Revenge” Tax, stating that they would impose the Jock Tax on any state that imposes a Jock Tax on their players.

The Expansion

More states took to the tax as it could not be voted out by the visiting players, due to their not being a resident. Missouri came on board with the tax in 2009 when the Cardinals lost to the Astros in the postseason, but took it another step further. A representative of the state was disappointed in how the umpires officiated the games in St. Louis; therefore, Missouri has imposed the tax on umpires that are working the games in their state.

The Little Guys

How could taxing these pros that make millions of dollars sound bad? Well, the tax is also levied on team trainers and equipment managers, whom only earn a median income. Teams travel to fair amount of states and these trainers end up having to file 15-20 state tax returns, and the cost of having that many returns prepared piles up in a hurry.

Court Case

In 2015, there was a court case in Cleveland involving two former NFL players regarding the Jock Tax. Cleveland was trying to levy the tax as if the only days that the players had worked in the state of Ohio were game days. Therefore, 5% of their salary was being taxed for playing a game in Cleveland, but the players claimed that they worked throughout the week at practice and video training; claiming that a typical NFL season is 170 workdays long for the players. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in the favor of the players, stating that the tax being levied by Cleveland was “Unconstitutional.”

“Free” States

As of today there are only four states that have professional teams that don’t impose the Jock Tax: Florida, Washington, Texas and Tennessee (who repealed their version of the Jock Tax in 2014). All four states also have no state income tax, explaining why you see many professional athletes living in these states.




Barnard Vogler & Co.
100 W. Liberty St., Suite 1100
Reno, NV 89501

T: (775) 786-6141
F: (775) 323-6211
E: information@bvcocpas.com


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