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Tax Fraud Alert: COVID-19 Relief Payments

The proverbial ink had no sooner dried on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) when the scammers and fraudsters began angling for ways to cheat recipients of the checks ranging from $1,200 (individuals) to $2,400 (couples) and $500 for each qualifying child. All payments are subject to income limitations.

In response, IRS Criminal Investigation and U.S. attorneys from around the country have assembled a task force to identify and prosecute anyone attempting to use the COVID-19 relief payments as an opportunity to defraud people.

The IRS is cautioning people to be wary of anyone soliciting bank information as an excuse to speed up or deliver the relief payment. The IRS specifically stated that it would not be calling or emailing anyone for account information.

© 2020 Varnum LLP


About this Author

Angelique Neal Tax Attorney

Angelique is a member of Varnum’s Tax Team. Her practice includes all aspects of federal and state tax controversy and tax planning, including: tax audits, appeals, and litigation; tax collections – liens, levies, offers in compromise, and other collection alternatives; employment tax issues; and civil and criminal tax litigation. In addition, she handles tax and reporting compliance issues with offshore financial accounts and other assets. She represents individuals and business clients from small businesses to multimillion dollar corporations, including clients with overseas interests....

Eric M. Nemeth, Tax Planning Attorney, Varnum, Financial Controversy Lawyer

Eric is a partner and leads the tax team. He concentrates on tax and financial controversy (IRS and various States) from examinations appellate conferences, criminal investigations, witness representation and civil and criminal tax litigation. He works with government regulatory and general tax matters. He has served as Senior Trial Attorney for the District Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service and as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice. He is a frequent speaker on tax enforcement and has served as an expert witness and binding arbitrator.