Since I have to file schedules pertaining to education credits (the kid’s in school and I have to keep myself up to date in the tech field), my taxes could not be e-filed until the 11th of February. (Thank you, Congress you slow ass behemoth!) So I waited an entire month to file. How annoying!
I’d gone to taxbrain.com the first week of January with my paystub from the end of December and started the process. When I got my W2 around the 10th, I went back to taxbrain.com to finish. Everything copied over from the prior year’s return and all I did was plug in new numbers from my W2 and from our education expenses. Pretty easy for a girl with a tax preparer’s license. Heh.
The frustrating part came when I sent the return to be filed. Up pops the little notice that the schedules I’m filing cannot be transmitted until February 11. So I left my returns (the CA one too) in the queue. I figured, e-filing still saves lots of time and the refund money will be electronically deposited, which saves even more time.
I checked back at taxbrain.com a couple of times during the last month. Then yesterday morning, I check the status of my return and it had gone from pending to sent. WOOT! Now, I just had to wait for an email from taxbrain.com telling me whether the IRS accepted or rejected the return. Last year I got rejected. It was the strangest most fucked up thing. I opened the return and deleted my kid, then re-entered her… with the same damned information. I hadn’t fat fingered the first entry. All the numbers were correct on her SS#. Nothing was different. But it was accepted the second time. Grrr.
So this morning, I figured I would have an email stating that my return was eiher accepted or rejected because, usually, you get a confirmation within 24 hours. Instead of an email from taxbrain.com, I found an email purporting to be from the IRS. Okay, I was not born yesterday. You cannot get me to fork over money to help you bring your dead wife here from Nigeria so my funeral home can bury her. I know I haven’t won the UK lottery. And I’m for damn sure that no relative named JAMES ALLEN JAMIESON, ESQ. from Leeds, England, left me money in his will. Pfft. Why the hell would I think an email that says it’s from the Internal Revenue Service with a subject line of Tax Notification, is real?
Being the techie kinda geek that I am, I first made sure the damn thing had no worms or trojans. Then I opened the email. This is what it said:
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
United States Department of the Treasury
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal
activity we have determined that you are eligible
to receive a tax refund of $184.80.
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us
6-9 days in order to process it.
A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons.
For example submitting invalid records or applying
after the deadline.
To access the form for your tax refund, use the following personalized link:
Internal Revenue Service
Document Reference: (0xCA.0x80.0x1D.0x2).
When I moused over the link…it gave me a different link. Warning, warning! I closed the email and clicked delete. I’d already known it was bogus. I just wanted to see the evidence. I wondered just how clever the sender really was. When I moused over the link and saw the obviously non-IRS website URL, I had proof positive that they weren’t clever. This email wasn’t much different than the ones purporting to be from PayPal or eBay, asking you to click the link and verify your account info or risk account suspension. The same thing happens with those emails. Put your mouse over the link they want you to click and look for the URL. It’s not PayPal or eBay. It’s set up to steal your account info is what it is. Phishy as all hell.
By the time 4 pm rolled around, I figured I was prolly gonna find a rejection slip from the government when I got home. I mean, the info was the same as last year and they rejected me last year. I was slightly surprised then to open my email at 5 pm and find that both returns were accepted, and I could expect the electronic deposit on or about the 22nd of February. Go figure. It all worked out in the end. I did wonder how many people got taken in by the fake IRS email. How pathetic are those people who send out phishing emails? It amazes me that anyone falls for their shit. Okay, when I see how many of my co-workers don’t know how to find toolbars or format documents or print an envelope… maybe I’m not so amazed after all.