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Suspect Arrested for Tax Returns, Claim Refunds Scam

November 29, 2012

Oakland – A female Hayward resident was arrested early Tuesday for her involvement in a scam that defrauded the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through falsified tax returns and claim refunds, reports said.

The United States attorney’s office identified the suspect as Latasha Ringo. She reportedly recruited taxpayers into the scheme with the help of several conspirators. They made W-2 forms, which claimed fake employment and tax withholdings.

The taxpayers whom they recruited then forwarded the fake returns to the IRS. The said individuals used their real names together with their Social Security numbers through authorized services for commercial electronic filing.

Meanwhile, the arrested suspect pleaded not guilty during her arraignment for charges of conspiracy to file false claims. Ringo’s next arraignment is set on December 5.

Once convicted, she could receive up to 10 years of imprisonment as a maximum sentence along with a $250,000.00 fine.

1M People Retrieve Social Security Statements Online

July 2, 2012

The Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner, Michael J. Astrue, announced Friday that around one million people have accessed their Social Security statements in less than two months since the federal agency established the My Social Security platform.

In a press statement released through the SSA’s website, Commissioner Astrue considered it a “huge success.” He also said that the “online statement meets our commitment to provide Americans with an easy, efficient process to obtain an estimate for their potential Social Security benefits.”

It can be recalled that Social Security online statements were made available last May 1 through the My Social Security page, which allowed people to access information on their Social Security earnings and benefits with convenience and security.

Additionally, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) indicated that users of the online statement feature gave it a score of 89 – joining other Social Security’s other top-rated online services such as the Retirement Estimator and online retirement application in terms of competition.

Access to the online statement is for individuals who are at least 18 years old, have an SS number, a valid e-mail address, and a U.S. mailing address.

Local Supervisor Advocates Discriminatory Tax Burden Junking

November 27, 2012

San Francisco – A supervisor in this city is pushing for the junking of “discriminatory tax burden,” which denies gay couples their health benefits, reports said.

In an interview, San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell stated that same-sex spouses and domestic partners of city workers are unfairly taxed. This occurs once they use the health benefits of their partners.

In addition, the federal tax code does not accept same-sex marriages. Therefore, if a city worker includes their same sex spouse into his or her health plan, the government regards the benefit as income and will tax it accordingly. Farrell stated that it is biased and wrong since it is not being applied to straight couples.

To stop the unfair practice, Farrell drafted a legislative proposal that would peruse of city coffers to reimburse the federal tax on health insurance that same-sex couples are currently paying. Farrell is eyeing at least $1 million annually for the said legislation.

According to Farrell, the tax burden adds to the list of injustices, which includes denying gay couples’ immigration rights, Social Security, survivor’s benefits, as well as federal tax code cuts.

SOCIAL SECURITY LAW: Kansas City Man Admits Social Security Fraud Culpability

May 11, 2011

Kansas City – Joe Calvin Seward, 60 years old of Kansas City, has admitted stealing his brother’s Social Security identity to receive disability payments from the government.

Seward was able to use Lee Seward’s (his brother’s name) identity and collect disability payments that cost $300,419.

Social Security started paying Seward’s disability benefits since March 1980 when his legs was partly amputated. Yet, he was able to get employment as a school bus driver and still receive Social Security benefits.

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