If you have received a confusing or fishy letter from a company other than the IRS/Secretary of State’s office that asks you to submit fees and documents to an unknown third party, stop and investigate the matter—it could be fraud.

Here is some information on instances of fraud that have happened or are currently happening, as well as how to report it. Knowing the correct forms to file in the event of any business changes that could affect your taxes is also important. Here is a guide to help you understand what’s expected so that you are more knowledgeable and, thus, less susceptible to fraud.

Fraud Notices

Fraud notices have been recently sent out as misleading termination letters. Some private company has been sending mass mailings to limited liability companies and corporations saying that they will terminate the business unless fees are paid and/or sensitive documentation is provided. These notices are especially worrisome because they it looks similar to one that the California Secretary of State Office sends out. It may also ask for fees and documentation, similar to what the Secretary of State would require.

The key thing to remember about these fraudulent letters is that you are never required to submit your information through any sort of intermediary. You can always directly submit information to the Secretary of State’s office.

To discover if a letter is genuine or not, contact the California Attorney General’s Office via mail or online form prior to submitting any information requested.

Filing Forms Necessary—Statements of Information

It’s helpful to know the forms you actually will be required to fill out and submit in order to protect yourself against fraud. On the California Secretary of State’s website, you can select the kind of business you have and download a PDF with your particular designation’s requirements.

Examples of forms that may be included are the following:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • General stock
  • Close
  • Professional
  • Common interest development
  • Nonprofit mutual benefit
  • Certificates of Amendment
  • Statements of Information
  • And many others

Reporting Fraud

To report suspected fraud, submit all solicitation letters, documents and included envelopes to the California Attorney General’s Office via mail, or go to www.ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php for an online form.

Ensure that you’ll never fall victim to fraudulent solicitations. Contact Janathan L. Allen, APC today at 866-631-3470 to consult with a team of legal professionals that can help you understand tax law and assist you with your filing needs.

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