February 24, 2024

Small business owners in the Finger Lakes region are being targeted by a sophisticated scam involving letters that mimic official tax forms. The fraudulent correspondence, masquerading as forms from the nonexistent “Business Regulations Department,” demands a filing fee of $117 and carries a false deadline, contrary to the actual guidelines set by the Corporate Transparency Act of 2021.

The scam letters are designed to look like official IRS documents, complete with a form number 4022, which does not exist in the U.S. tax system. The deception is aimed at collecting sensitive business information, potentially leading to identity theft and financial fraud. Business owners should be aware that there is no fee to file beneficial owner information as required by law, and the correct deadline is January 1, 2025, for businesses established before January 1, 2024. New businesses have a 90-day filing window post-establishment.

Authorities and consumer protection agencies are urging business owners to stay vigilant, especially during tax season, and to report any suspicious mail resembling tax forms. The scam is not only a threat to businesses but also poses a risk to individuals during personal income tax filings. For safe and free filing of beneficial owner information, business owners should visit the official government website.

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