Categories
General

2020 Annual Strategic Planning Meeting

Our first Annual Strategic Planning meeting is in the books!

The team took off for 3 days and met in the beautiful Gold Hills country in the Sierra foothills. It was a LOT of hard work, but 100% worth it. Afterwards, we relaxed and took in some of the beautiful countryside.

It’s going to be a great year!

Categories
General

Covid-19 Vaccine Approved

The FDA has approved a covid vaccine for emergency use. Please continue to socially distance, wash hands often, and wear masks around others. This pandemic is no joke.

FDA NEWS RELEASE

FDA Takes Key Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine

Action Follows Thorough Evaluation of Available Safety, Effectiveness, and Manufacturing Quality Information by FDA Career Scientists, Input from Independent Experts

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older. The emergency use authorization allows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S.

“The FDA’s authorization for emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine is a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “Today’s action follows an open and transparent review process that included input from independent scientific and public health experts and a thorough evaluation by the agency’s career scientists to ensure this vaccine met FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. The tireless work to develop a new vaccine to prevent this novel, serious, and life-threatening disease in an expedited timeframe after its emergence is a true testament to scientific innovation and public-private collaboration worldwide.” 

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Read the full FDA statement here: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-takes-key-action-fight-against-covid-19-issuing-emergency-use-authorization-first-covid-19

Categories
Identity Theft Security

Protect Yourself From Phishing Identity Theft Scams

Identity theft via phishing has grown steadily in the last few years, and has now exploded due to the pandemic restrictions and the rise of online interactions.

Phishing was previously defined as: “the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers”.

However, phishing scams have become far more sophisticated than simple emails, and now are deployed more along the lines of clever social engineering and complex subterfuge. Phishing attempts can involve not just email, but phone calls, texts, social media interaction, or any combination of those.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect yourself from phishing, and the security experts at Kaspersky Labs have put together a thorough primer to help you out. Stay alert, and stay safe!


Phishing Prevention Tips

by Kaspersky Labs

Phishing prevention has become essential as more criminals turn towards online scams to steal your personal information. We’ve learned to dodge spam emails, but phishing emails can look deceivingly credible. Some are even personalized specifically for you. Since you will likely be exposed to a phishing attack eventually, you’ll need to know the red flags. Because scams are nothing new on the web, but phishing is harder to spot than you might think.

Across the web, phishing attacks have baited unsuspecting victims into handing over bank info, social security numbers, and more. Plus, cybercriminals have become even savvier with their disguises. Sometimes these scams hide behind voices you know and trust, like your coworkers, your bank, or even your government. If you so much as click a link, you could be the scammer’s next victim.

As we dive into how to prevent phishing, we’ll answer some important questions:

  • What is phishing?
  • Am I at risk of being a phishing target?
  • What types of phishing scams exist?
  • How do I spot a phishing scam?
  • What is phishing email?
  • What do I do once I’ve identified a phishing email?
  • What should I do to avoid being a victim of phishing?

What is Phishing?

Phishing persuades you to take an action which gives a scammer access to your device, accounts, or personal information. By pretending to be a person or organization you trust, they can more easily infect you with malware or steal your credit card information.

In other words, these social engineering schemes “bait” you with trust to get your valuable information. This could be anything from a social media login, to your entire identity via your social security number.

These schemes may urge you to open an attachment, follow a link, fill out a form, or reply with personal info. By that logic, you must be on guard at all times which can be exhausting.

The most common scenario is as follows: …[more]

Read the full article here:

https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/phishing-prevention-tips

Categories
SoeFin

Welcome to the Team

We’re pleased to welcome aboard our new intern, Jessica DaSilva!

Jessica started off her academic career at Sacramento City College, studying accounting and computer science with a double-major in Business and Mathematics and earning her Associates degree in Business Administration.

Currently a third-year student at Sacramento State University, Jessica is studying to earn her Bachelors in Financial Planning, and she plans to earn at least two prestigious professional certifications that complement her undergraduate education and her future career: the Certified Financial Planner® and Enrolled Agent credentials.

Jessica’s purpose in working in the field of Financial Planning is to learn how to better educate others and help them to improve their long-term financial wellbeing, an invaluable modern asset.

Categories
Covid General SoeFin

Meet with us safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

Video Meetings Are Now Standard!

Until more definitive science is known about his terrible COVID-19 pandemic, Soesbe Financial is meeting with clients remotely only. We are pleased to offer secure video conferencing via our robust business video application; all clients need is a computer with a webcam and internet access.

Once restrictions are eased, we will offer in-person meetings once again, in addition to our now-standard video meetings. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please call us directly at 916-587-5100.

Categories
Covid Taxes

State By State Guide To Tax Deadlines For Filing & Payments During COVID-19

Forbes has put together an excellent guide to state-by-state tax filing and payment deadlines. We encourage all our Soesbe Financial clients, as well as the general taxpaying population, to file their taxes sooner rather than later, to ensure that any refunds you are owed can be disbursed in a timely manner.


Your Guide To State Tax Deadlines For Filing Returns & Making Estimated Payments During COVID-19

by Kelly Phillips Erb Senior Contributor Taxes

(Updated: June 12, 2020)

On March 20, 2020, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin extended the tax filing and payment deadline for federal income tax to July 15, 2020. This relief includes estimated payments for the first and second quarters. You can find more information and guidance here.

Some states have also extended filing and payment deadlines – but not all of them are extended to July 15, 2020. Additionally, not all state filing extensions apply to estimated payments (you’ll see the information about estimated payments in bold below). Here’s what we know so far:

Alabama: For taxpayers affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the due date for filing state income tax, FIET, and BPT returns and making state income tax, FIET, and BPT payments due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, is postponed to July 15, 2020. Extension payments and Estimate payments due on April 15, 2020, have been postponed to July 15, 2020. However, the Order does not include estimated payments due after April 15, 2020. For example, a calendar year taxpayer’s second-quarter payment is still due June 15, 2020.

Alaska: Alaska does not have a personal income tax.

Arizona: The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) announced it has moved the deadline for filing and paying state income taxes from April 15 to July 15, 2020. This includes individual, corporate, and fiduciary tax returns. Taxpayers who need more time beyond the July 15 deadline to file state income taxes should consider filing for an extension. Arizona’s delay in filing and paying state income taxes does not include an extension to pay estimated tax payments.

Arkansas: Governor Hutchinson announced the state deadline to file and pay individual income taxes has been extended to July 15, matching the federal extension. Arkansas did not extend the 2020 estimated tax payments. 

California: FTB has postponed until July 15, the filing and payment deadlines for all individuals and business entities for 2019 tax returns, 2019 tax return payments, 2020 LLC taxes and fees, and 2020 Non-wage withholding payments. California has also extended 2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimate payments to July 15.

Colorado: The income tax payment deadline has been extended for all Colorado taxpayers to July 15, 2020. All income tax returns that were required to be filed by April 15, 2020, are granted a six-month extension and are due on or before October 15, 2020. EO D 2020 010 grants an extension of time to pay until July 15, 2020, for any estimated payment due between April 15, 2020, and June 15, 2020, without penalty.

Read the full article here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2020/06/10/your-guide-to-state-tax-deadlines-for-filing-returns–making-estimated-payments-during-covid-19/#2c324e2c33c9

Categories
Covid Identity Theft Security

Credit and Identity Thieves Are Exploiting COVID-19

Identity and credit thieves are taking advantage of the confusion during Covid-19 to target consumers in astronomical numbers. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself, including taking advantage of the new relaxed credit check rules that allow you to check your credit weekly for free.


Freeze credit, review credit reports weekly as thieves exploit COVID-19 pandemic

by Connie Thompson | KOMO News

Today, the FBI told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the number of fraud complaints to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ic3) for the first 5 months of this 2020 is almost the same as for all of 2019.

Scammers and crime rings are tricking people out of hundreds of millions of dollars by exploiting the pandemic.

To quote the FBI’s Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division, “These threats are pervasive and have become more frequent and sophisticated over time.”

The Federal Trade Commission said it’s seeing a rise in identity theft complaints.

“The numbers are very high, particularly in Washington state,” said FTC Regional Director Chuck Harwood.

Freezing your credit is now a top recommendation.

“By freezing your credit report, you make it harder for anyone to use the information on that credit report, it’ll make it hard for them to open new credit in your name,” Harwood said.

But don’t stop there. You can now check your credit for free once a week with each of the three major credit bureaus instead of getting a free report just once a year.

“During the pandemic the credit reporting agencies have loosened the rules further and said that consumers may check each of the credit reports, each week,” Harwood said.

And with scam phone calls on the rise it’s more crucial than ever to …

Read the full article here:

https://komonews.com/news/consumer/freeze-credit-review-credit-reports-weekly-as-thieves-exploit-covid-19-pandemic

Categories
Covid General SoeFin

Covid-19 mandated lockdown

Soesbe Financial is complying fully with all federal and state COVID-19 guidelines for businesses. Until further notice, we have discontinued all in-person visits and will be meeting with clients remotely via phone and webconference only. Please call us directly at 916-587-5100 if you have any questions or concerns.

Categories
Identity Theft Security

Beware Stimulus Check Scams

Even though the stimulus bill has barely passed, scammers have started calling folks up, trying to get them to divulge confidential information such as bank accounts, social security numbers, and so forth.

DON’T FALL FOR THEIR TRICKS. The IRS will never call, text or email asking for information.

The IRS specifies on its website that no sign-up is required, and there is no need to call. The agency will post additional information, when it’s available, at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.


Beware stimulus check scams

By Tami Luhby, CNN

(CNN)The federal government hasn’t issued a single stimulus check yet, but scammers are already trying to steal the money from Americans.

These criminal efforts are prompting the Federal Bureau of Investigation, multiple state attorneys general and other agencies to warn Americans not to fall for phone calls, texts, emails or websites that ask for personal or financial information in order to receive the $1,200 federal payment.

“If someone claims to be from the government with a check for you, it may be a phishing scam that is illegally trying to obtain your bank account or other personal information,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Saturday.

“Do not pay anyone who promises that they can expedite or obtain a payment or a loan for you,” James continued. “If you are eligible for relief, you will not need to make any up-front payment or pay any fee to receive a stimulus payment.”

Most Americans will receive up to $1,200 per person in coming weeks, as part of a historic $2 trillion stimulus package President Donald Trump signed into law Friday.

Read the full article here:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/28/politics/stimulus-check-scams/index.html

Categories
Community Covid Sacramento

Sacramento Area Resources For Elders and Families

As we all do our part to shelter in place during these crucial weeks, there are many among us who require assistance with obtaining necessary services and provisions. The good people over at Safe Credit Union have put together an excellent list to help our community.


Sacramento area resources for 65+ and families

SAFE

by SAFE on March 24, 2020 at 4:01 PM

As the Greater Sacramento area follows shelter-in-place orders and other directives associated with COVID-19, many businesses and organizations have stepped forward to ensure that residents can obtain the basics such as food and health care.

Businesses considered essential remain open, including grocery stores, credit unions and banks, laundromats, hardware stores, and gas stations.

Here’s a list compiled by SAFE to help you find the resources you need. If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, or know of other services provided, please share in the comments below. We’ll be pleased to add them.

FOOD

Food banks

The National Guard is assisting local food banks to distribute food as the number of available volunteers shrinks due to shelter-in-place orders. The Sacramento Food Bank is helping to coordinate food distribution across the area. They advise calling before you go.

Read the full article here:

https://blog.safecu.org/sacramento-area-resources-to-help-you-during-covid-19-situation