Blog Archives: 2019

Gone Phishing: One Accountant’s First-Hand Experience With a Social Engineering Attack

As an auditor, I’ve seen my fair share of fraud attempts. But personally, I had not experienced such an attempt against an organization I was volunteering with – until now. I have the dubious distinction of being among the hundreds of thousands who have received a social engineering phishing email (i.e., solicitation of information by posing as a trustworthy person).

Here’s the scenario: I’m the board treasurer for the local chapter of an association. The fraudsters likely found the board listing online and set up an AOL account (board.pres@aol.com) under the board president’s name. They then used that email address to send me the following email:

Subject: General Expenditures

Victoria,

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IRS Provides Much Needed Guidance to Individuals Making Recent Large Gifts

Through recent proposed regulations on November 20, 2018, the IRS has noted that, for individuals who took advantage of the increased gift and estate tax exclusions from 2018 to 2025, there will be no claw back when current exemption levels are set to decrease after 2025.

In general, estate tax planners across the board felt that this proposed scenario would be the case but were relieved nonetheless to receive official IRS confirmation.  The proposed regulations are currently open for public comment.

The dollars at stake are enormous since the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCIA) temporarily increased the basic exclusion amounts from $5 million to $10 million per person . 

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