Oregon Tax Scam Could Have Been Much Bigger
Lesson of the day: If you're going to cheat on a tax return, try to use numbers that are small enough so you can stay under the radar. Oh wait - skip that. Actual lesson of the day: If you got away with stealing from the government once, it's best to quit while you're ahead. Here we have a story of a woman in Oregon who filed a state tax return reporting over $3 million in income and asking for a state tax refund of over $2 million. Like that's not going to raise any eyebrows? Amazingly, the Oregon Revenue Department authorized the refund. And then it gets better.
The woman received her refund in the form of a debit card which she requested through her TurboTax tax preparation software. She spent about $200,000 of the refund (her buying spree included the purchase of a gun) but somehow managed to lose the debit card. Rather than staying under the radar, the woman "reported the card lost or stolen." This time, the situation caught the attention of a real person at the Oregon Revenue Department who took a second look at the woman's tax return. The woman is now in custody and the State of Oregon is only out the $200k and the costs of court time and incarceration.
Prior to this role, Caleb served as the editor of Going Concern since its founding in 2009. During his time as editor, Going Concern quickly became one of the most popular and talked about websites in the accounting profession. He has been named one of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People every year since 2011 and has been published on numerous websites, including Above the Law, Deadspin, Denver Business Journal, and the Huffington Post.
Caleb is an adjunct professor of journalism the Community College of Denver in Denver, Colorado, where he teaches Internet Media.
Prior to falling bass ackwards into the media business, Caleb spent over five years working in public accounting, with more than three of those years at KPMG. Caleb received a Master of Science in Accounting from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Caleb spends a lot of time on a bicycle and reading, but never at the same time.