Protect Yourself: Spotting Warning Signs of Misleading Employee Retention Scams

In recent years, employee retention scams have become increasingly prevalent, targeting individuals unaware of the warning signs. These scams can cause financial loss and lead to improper filing of claims. To protect yourself and your hard-earned money, it is crucial to identify these misleading schemes and take simple yet effective steps to avoid falling victim to them. This blog will discuss some common warning signs of employee retention scams and provide practical tips to prevent improperly filing claims.

Unsolicited Communication:

One of the most apparent warning signs of a potential scam is receiving unsolicited communication. Scammers often contact individuals via phone calls, emails, or even social media, claiming to be from a government agency or a company offering employee retention benefits. Be cautious if you receive such messages out of the blue, and always verify the source’s legitimacy before sharing any personal or financial information.

Requests for Personal Information:

Through unsolicited communications, legitimate organizations will never ask for personal or financial information, such as your social security number, bank account details, or credit card information. Scammers, on the other hand, may try to extract this information under the pretense of processing employee retention benefits. Remember, guarding your personal information and only sharing it with trusted sources is essential.

High-Pressure Tactics:

Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to push individuals into making hasty decisions. They might create a sense of urgency by stating that you must act immediately to secure employee retention benefits. Legitimate programs typically provide ample time and resources for individuals to understand and apply for benefits. If you feel rushed or pressured, take a step back and verify the information independently.

Upfront Fees or Payment Requests:

Another red flag to watch out for is any upfront fee or payment request. Legitimate employee retention programs do not require individuals to pay anything in advance to receive benefits. Scammers may ask for processing fees or claim that payment is necessary to expedite your claim. Avoid providing any financial information or making payments unless you are certain of the program’s legitimacy.

Lack of Official Documentation:

When dealing with employee retention benefits, always expect official documentation. Legitimate programs will provide you with written materials, application forms, and clear instructions on proceeding. If the communication you receive lacks proper documentation or seems unprofessional, it’s a sign that something might be amiss. Request official documentation or contact the organization directly to verify the program’s authenticity.

Simple Steps to Avoid Improperly Filing Claims:

  1. Educate Yourself: Stay informed about legitimate employee retention programs and processes. Be aware of the official channels through which you can apply for benefits, and regularly check reliable sources for updates.

  2. Verify the Source: Before engaging with any communication claiming to be related to employee retention benefits, verify the source independently. Look up official contact information for the organization or government agency in question and reach out directly to confirm the legitimacy of the communication.

  3. Be Skeptical of Unsolicited Communication: Treat unsolicited communication with caution. If you receive an unexpected call or email regarding employee retention benefits, do not immediately provide any personal or financial information. Instead, conduct your own research and contact the organization using official channels.

  4. Consult with Experts: If you have doubts or concerns about the legitimacy of an employee retention program, seek advice from professionals or legal experts who specialize in employment law. They can provide guidance and help you navigate through the process correctly.

In conclusion, Protecting yourself from misleading employee retention scams and avoiding improper claims requires vigilance, skepticism, and informed decision-making. By staying aware of the warning signs discussed in this blog and following

5 Things Wealthy Entrepreneurs Do on a Daily Basis

Tips for Entrepreneurship Success Beyond Managing Money Well

Successful entrepreneurs experience success because they visualize and set goals and then follow that up with actions steps that take them closer to achieving those goals. Additionally, most successful people set themselves up for success through preparation and discipline.  Being able to manage finances is essential for success as well. A great entrepreneur has a budget that they stick to, they invest money wisely, have an emergency fund and are constantly looking for new opportunities for financial success and stability. Here are other tips and tricks that successful individuals practice daily and cost NOTHING.

1. Wake Up Early & Meditate

There’s a saying that goes, “The early bird, catches the worm” and this is so true amongst successful entrepreneurs. Early risers start their days ahead of everyone else and are able to naturally making their day more productive than others. Beyond that, they couple waking up early with a good nights rest and meditation. Taking care of your body and mind through relaxation, regular exercise and healthy eating are essential for improving the chances you will achieve success. Entrepreneurs that practice taking care of their mind, body and soul, tend to be overall happier and can achieve their goals faster than an average person.

2. Network! Network! Network!

Networking is very important to get ahead in life even more today than it was back in the day for Hendry Ford. Networking has a way of connecting people in different ways. Successful entrepreneurs who network are more innovative. Additionally, it is a great way to expand your circle of “go to” people to bounce ideas of off, give and gain advice as well open up avenues for new or different opportunities. Entrepreneurs that network tend to be sincere in helping others succeed and are said to rarely complain or be critical. Entrepreneurs know that for them to succeed, they also need to help others succeed. Network is the best way to meet others and become successful.

3. Entrepreneurs Know When To Say, “NO”

Saying yes to everyone or to everything can cause a person to lose site of their goals and distract them from being able to cross things off of their task list. Successful entrepreneurs are able to say no to things that can steer them away from their path to success. Types of activities successful entrepreneurs say “no” to include:

  • Activities that are a waste of time
  • Extra work
  • Negativity and others

By doing this and knowing when to say no, they are able to focus on increasing their productivity and getting closer to their success goals.

4. Create a To-Do List & Keep Busy

A successful entrepreneur never starts their day without knowing what they have to do that day. Before going to bed, they create a “to-do list” for the next day. Determine the priority level of each task and use it as a guide for the day. Entrepreneurs who are successful are rarely idle; they work anywhere between 60-100 hours per week. That may seem like a lot, but it is what’s necessary to be successful.

5. Keep the TV Off & Read More

Did you know that 85% of wealthy people love to read and 88% of those spend 30 minutes or more a day reading a book that is geared to self-improvement? Successful entrepreneurs keep their eye on growth: financial, personal and network growth. As you grow, so does your level of success.

If you own your own tax preparation business, National Tax Office has the tools to help you become a successful entrepreneur! You don’t have to do it alone. Contact us at 844.686.1040 and lets get you and your business on the right track to success!

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Everyone has been in the situation where you have to get something done, but then you convince yourself to put it off, even if you had the time to do it right in that moment.  Procrastination is just something that we have a tendency to do, but where did this tendency come from? Why are our brains more inclined to do something later than now?

The Reason Behind Slacking Off

The reason lies in the distinction that we each place upon our present selves and our future selves. In our minds, we tend to value our present self more than our future self, and with this comes the desire to enjoy immediate rewards that benefit our present self.  Of course, those immediate rewards can leave our future self overloaded with work or dealing with a whole mess of problems due to our present self not considering the long-term consequences.

You can look back at any moment that you procrastinated and see the battle between your present and future self.  Let’s say you had some work that you needed to finish but the deadline was a few days away, so you decide to procrastinate and relax instead.  The immediate benefits may be that you could do something fun and enjoyable, but the long term cost is that you are stressed, pressed for time, and even have more work on your plate to finish when that deadline finally rolls around.

How To Combat Procrastination

If you want to break free of your procrastination habits, it may be difficult, but it is possible.  The key to beating procrastination is to make your present self place more value on your future self so that you’re more inclined to make choices with long-term benefits. To achieve this, there are three options that help you, but they do require a high level of self-discipline. 

Make Long-Term Behavior Have Immediate Rewards

While the actual long-term benefits of your choices are far off, you can come up with a way to reward yourself for making that choice.  Whether it’s rewarding yourself by doing something you like (that doesn’t counteract the long term benefit of course), or even just visualizing yourself enjoying those benefits.  Even the process of imagining your future self being better off because of your hard work in the moment can help you feel more immediate satisfaction.  For example, after finishing your work today even if it’s due in a week, imagine yourself having a stress-free day later.

Create Immediate Consequences For Procrastinating

When we procrastinate, our present self usually doesn’t have to deal with any consequences.  In order to convince ourselves to not procrastinate, we need to make it so that we realize the gravity of our choice in the moment.  While it requires a lot of discipline, you need to set consequences that would deter you from procrastinating.  Some examples would be making bets with yourself, like each day you put off your work, you put $20 in a jar.  You can even bring friends or co-workers in for help, with them checking in on your progress and ensuring that you’re not slacking off.

Avoid Causes Of Procrastination

There are countless things that can distract us and prevent us from getting our work done. It’s up to you to try and remove yourself from situations or things that can be distracting so you can focus and work efficiently.  Things like shutting off your phone or finding a quiet place to work will put you in a better environment that encourages work instead of procrastination

Stop Procrastinating A Become Your Own Boss

If you’re an entrepreneur and you want to start your own business, it’s about time you stop procrastinating too. With National Tax Office, we make it easy for you to become your own boss, and open up your own successful tax preparation business.  Don’t procrastinate making this positive change in your life, since all you need to do is contact us to get more information.

3 Ways to Keep a Good Work-Life Balance

Building a business from scratch is hard work and is certainly not for the faint of heart. It often takes long, lonely hours and intense focus on the task at hand to reach a point where you feel comfortable enough with your company’s success to step back for a breather. While a good entrepreneur knows that complete dedication is required to get the job done correctly, there is also a point at which the work you put in can take a toll on your physical health, personal life, and even your mental well-being. At National Tax Office, we believe that a good work-life balance is needed to ensure you can avoid burnout and still feel good about your career accomplishments.

1.) Make Exercise a Part of Your Daily Routine

It can be easy to assume that there is not enough time in the day to devote an hour to your physical health. However, taking a quick break for some exercise is a good way to unwind and decompress while burning some calories. No matter what type of exercise you like to do, make sure to find some time to squeeze a quick workout in.

 2.) Step Away

 Many entrepreneurs choose to work from home, which can make it difficult to get away from work. Setting aside time each day where you step away from your work completely can keep you out of the funk of feeling trapped. Try setting up working hours that are similar to those you would work if you had an office job instead of sitting in front of your computer during all of your waking hours.

 3.) Socialize

Your personal relationships can seriously suffer if you don’t put the time and effort in to sustaining them. Spending quality time with your friends and family members is good for your mental health, as it can give your life meaning that your work just cannot replace.

At National Tax Office we understand how crucial it is to keep a good balance between work and personal life. If you’re considering starting your own tax business, contact us and we’d love to help guide you through the process and giving you the support of a team of experienced tax professionals. Starting your own business can be intimidating at first, so let us help you on this exciting journey!

Keeping It Cool: A Successful Supervisor’s Guide To Handling Difficult Conversations

Across every industry and workplace, an unavoidable part of every job is dealing with people. And, while standard employees can get away with limiting the intensity of their workplace interactions to the superficial talk at the water cooler, supervisors must often be the hosts of many kinds of difficult conversations.

This can be tricky – mediating employee conflicts, handling complaints, evaluating behaviors, and even letting people go when necessary. However, becoming comfortable and competent with these types of conversations is a necessity for any person serving in a supervisor capacity. Accordingly, here are three key tips for how to fine-tune your conversation style and best prepare and handle difficult conversations with employees.

Go In As Your Best Self

When growing up, people give you a lot of advice about what to do prior to taking a test, or performing in a show, or competing in a match – have a good breakfast, take a deep breath, clear you mind, etc. The thing about these constant reminders though, is that the reasoning behind them holds weight.

One should never go into serious dealings when you don’t have the basic essentials sorted out. Being tired or hungry or stressed can and will affect how you converse with somebody. Ergo, before having an important conversation, make sure you have taken care of all of your base human needs so that when you are in that meeting your best self is fully present. 

Keep Your Emotions In Check, But Keep Them Nonetheless

A lot of people will tell you that when having difficult conversations it is best to check your emotions at the door entirely. This is understandable, as you should not allow personal feelings (positive or negative) to influence your employee-supervisor dealings because fact should be at the core of these difficult conversations.

However, never forget that empathy (even tempered or internalized empathy) is an asset too. Resolving issues, or helping people overcome whatever struggle you are currently addressing is much easier when you understand them. So blocking out empathy completely is as unhelpful to the person you are confronting as it is to you.

A successful supervisor is neither made of stone nor made of pudding. A balance is required – objective, logical proceedings mixed with understandings. For, if not for the first you might end up being a pushover, and if not for the second you might end up alienating your employees.

Talk With Your Employees, Not At Your Employees

When preparing for a difficult conversation or confrontation, it can be easy to follow into the trap of preparing a whole speech in your mind of what to say. The problem with this, though, is that it is unrealistic. A supervisor-employee conversation is not like a presentation or a dramatized monologue; it is not just you in that room. Moreover, it is not all about you.

The point of a conversation is to converse so, while there is nothing wrong with preparing for hypotheticals and giving thought to what key points you want to cover in the meeting ahead of time, over prepping is a bad idea. Speak from the heart, not a script. Ask questions. Involve the other person. You are there to talk about them, after all.

Into The Gray

Every difficult conversation you will face as a supervisor in the workplace is different because every employee is different. As such, there is no exact map to navigate you through each occurrence.

However, that is okay. You were made a supervisor because the people above you believed you could supervise. So, trust yourself, trust your instincts, and keep these three tips in mind. If you do, you will be poised to handle difficult conversations with the empathetic grace and shrewd demeanor of a pro.