The Boston Herald has a story today on elderly Boston residents living in public or subsidized housing being talked into filing fraudulent tax returns to receive the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit.
The scam goes something like this. Elderly persons living in public housing are being told that for a $50 application, they will receive a tax credit that, in reality ,is supposed to go only to persons 65 or over who either own their homes, or who rent in the private housing market.
The law is quite clear; the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit cannot be claimed by a resident of public or subsidized housing. Some seniors who have been bamboozled into filing a fraudulent application have received tax credits — actually, checks — from the Commonwealth for hundreds of dollars (most however are for less than the maximum credit of $970). Any taxpayer who receives this credit fraudulently will have to pay it back to the Commonwealth.
DOR learned of this scam from Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), a community development group long known for the assistance it provides to the elderly and low-income people. ABCD is one of many community groups that provides, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, free and legal tax preparation services. DOR thanks ABCD for bringing this scam to our attention.
ABCD told DOR that representatives of the Instant Tax Service at 300 Warren Street in Roxbury were apparently visiting public housing sites recruiting taxpayers to file a tax return seeking the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit, and were charging elderly residents $50 to apply.
DOR encourages qualified seniors to file for the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax credit, which last year delivered some $78 million back to more than 60,000 taxpayers. This is an excellent progam — for those who are qualified to participate.
In the meantime, DOR is reviewing Senior Circuit Tax Breaker applications to make sure they are valid.
Five Reasons to E-File with DOR’s WebFile for Income posted on Feb 24
With Tax season well under way; DOR would like to help you make the decision to E-File with WebFile for Income this year. We know, “I’m not computer savvy” or “What about the safety of my information” has been said many times before, but we’d …Continue Reading Five Reasons to E-File with DOR’s WebFile for Income
Class in Session at DOR University posted on Jan 20
Looking to educate yourself this tax season? Want to learn more about tax options, or DOR-related issues? All this can be achieved at DOR University, the Department of Revenue’s free online e-learning module. DOR University, created to offer free tax education to the public and …Continue Reading Class in Session at DOR University
Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges posted on Nov 19
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Illegal Tobacco Commission, chaired by DOR Commissioner Amy Pitter, released a report on the illicit tobacco trade which recommends that teaming up with federal, state and local law enforcement can be a successful model for combatting such criminal activity. And …Continue Reading Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges