Yes, you should definitely watch out for Employee Retention Credit (ERC) scams. The ERC is a government program introduced to provide financial relief to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, scammers often take advantage of such programs to defraud unsuspecting individuals and businesses.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid ERC scams:
- Be cautious of unsolicited communications: Be wary of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or text messages claiming to offer assistance with ERC or promising large sums of money. Legitimate government agencies typically do not initiate contact in this manner.
- Verify the source: If you receive any communication regarding ERC, independently verify the legitimacy of the source. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or other relevant government agencies directly using official contact information to confirm the authenticity of the communication.
- Protect your personal and financial information: Do not provide personal or financial information, such as your Social Security number, bank account details, or tax identification number, to anyone without verifying their credentials and legitimacy.
- Research the program: Take the time to understand how the ERC program works, including eligibility criteria, application procedures, and the legitimate sources of information. This will help you identify red flags and potential scams.
- Consult professionals: If you are unsure about any aspect of the ERC program or have concerns about a particular communication or offer, consult with a trusted tax professional, attorney, or financial advisor. They can provide guidance and help you navigate the process safely.
By staying vigilant, being cautious, and conducting proper research, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to ERC scams and protect yourself and your business.