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Seniors, tax season and the risk of fraud

When engaging in estate planning, taxes are often discussed, including income taxes. It is now tax season, which impacts all adults, including seniors. When may seniors be required to file taxes? Bankrate listed the following criteria for 2016:

  • Married seniors who make a combined annual income of $23,200 and up
  • Single seniors who make at least $11,900

 

The matter of taxes and seniors is relevant to our Pennsylvania elder law blog because of our law office's focus on protecting the assets of elderly clients. It takes significant estate planning and tax planning advice, as well as emotional strength and courage, to plan for the future of your family and your estate. Many do so because they are proud and protective of their assets and want to leave them behind to help their loved ones. If seniors become victims of scams involving taxes, their estate plans and the financial security of their families are at risk.

In order to protect the assets that a senior has accumulated, preventing financial scams against the elderly is important. Tax season presents a scamming opportunity for fraud and, therefore, a financial risk for seniors who are too often seen and treated as sitting ducks.

All seniors and their loved ones should beware: the IRS will never call directly and require immediate payment of a supposed tax bill. A common and often effective scam is for thieves to pose as IRS agents who call and scare elderly victims into paying false tax bills.

If you worry about loved ones falling victim to this sort of tax scam or other types of financial fraud, talk to them about these threats. Falling victim to financial fraud can feel like a real violation to an elderly victim who has worked hard to acquire and protect their assets. These scams hurt the targets financially and emotionally as well as threatening the security of their loved ones. It can also help for seniors and their families to discuss these matters with an elder law attorney.

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