IRS Warning about Coronavirus Related Scams

IR-2020-64, April 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of calls and email phishing attempts about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. These contacts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.

“We urge people to take extra care during this period. The IRS isn’t going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don’t open them or click on attachments or links. Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.”

Taxpayers should watch not only for emails but text messages, websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information.

“History has shown that criminals take every opportunity to perpetrate a fraud on unsuspecting victims, especially when a group of people is vulnerable or in a state of need,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Don Fort. “While you are waiting to hear about your economic impact payment, criminals are working hard to trick you into getting their hands on it. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is working hard to find these scammers and shut them down, but in the meantime, we ask people to remain vigilant.”

Don’t fall prey to Coronavirus tricks; retirees among potential targets

The IRS and its Criminal Investigation Division have seen a wave of new and evolving phishing schemes against taxpayers. In most cases, the IRS will deposit economic impact payments into the direct deposit account taxpayers previously provided on tax returns. Those taxpayers who have previously filed but not provided direct deposit information to the IRS will be able to provide their banking information online to a newly designed secure portal on IRS.gov in mid-April. If the IRS does not have a taxpayer’s direct deposit information, a check will be mailed to the address on file. Taxpayers should not provide their direct deposit or other banking information for others to input on their behalf into the secure portal.

The IRS also reminds retirees who don’t normally have a requirement to file a tax return that no action on their part is needed to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. Seniors should be especially careful during this period. The IRS reminds retirees – including recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 − that no one from the agency will be reaching out to them by phone, email, mail or in person asking for any kind of information to complete their economic impact payment, also sometimes referred to as rebates or stimulus payments. The IRS is sending these $1,200 payments automatically to retirees – no additional action or information is needed on their part to receive this.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
  • Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

Reporting Coronavirus-related or other phishing attempts

Those who receive unsolicited emails, text messages or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), should forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

Taxpayers are encouraged not to engage potential scammers online or on the phone. Learn more about reporting suspected scams by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov. Official IRS information about the COVID-19 pandemic and economic impact payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov. The page is updated quickly when new information is available.


Udhëzimet për bizneset mbi CARES Act

  1. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans
  • Asistenca monetare deri në $2,000,000 janë të disponueshme për bizneset.
  • 75% norma interesi për bizneset, 2.75% norma interesi për OJF (Organizatat Jo-Fitimprurëse).
  • Periudhat janë në varësi të rasteve; deri në periudha 30-vjetore.
  • Të përdorshme për të paguar borxhet fikse, listat e pagave, llogaritë e pagueshme.

 

  1. SBA EIDL – Programi i GRANTEVE EMERGJENTE
  • Subjektet e përshtatshme të cilat kanë aplikuar për një EIDL mund të kërkojnë një paradhënie deri në $10,000.
  • SBA do të shpërndajë paradhëniet e emergjencës brënda tre ditëve nga data e kërkimit.
  • Paradhënia mund të përdoret ndaj lejeve të paguara shëndetësore, rritje të çmimeve të materialeve, pagesave hipotekare apo të qerave dhe detyrimeve të tjera.
  • Nuk ka nevojë të paguhet!

 

  1. SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot
  • Kreditorët aktualë SBA kanë aftësinë të përdorin fonde deri në $25,000.
  • Fondet mund të pagohen plotësisht apo pjesërisht nga të ardhurat e EIDL.

 

  1. SBA 7(a) Programi i Kredive për Mbrojtjen e Rrogave
  • Kredi deri në $10,000,000, afërsisht 2.5 herë më e madhe se sa paga mesatare mujore e kompanisë.
  • Të ardhurat e kredisë do të mbështesin pagat (duke përfshire përfitimet), sigurimet, si dhe pagesat e hipotekës, qerasë dhe pajisjeve.
  • Të pakolateralizuara
  • Nuk kanë pagesa kredie për të paktën 6 muaj
  • Kreditë janë të vlefshme për t'u falur në bazë të një formule.
  • Çertifikimet e kërkuara:
  • Kushtet ekonomike të bizneseve të prekura nga COVID-19
  • Mosmarrjen e fondeve të tjera nga ndonjë program tjetër SBA.
  • Përdorimi i fondeve për të mirëmbajtur punëtorët dhe pagesat.

 

  1. Ndihma Ekzistuese Kredituese SBA Për Biznese të Vogla
  • E vlefshme për kreditë ekzistuese nën SBA 7(a), 504 dhe mikrokredi
  • SBA do të pagojë kryesorin, interesin dhe tarifat për kreditë ekzistuese të mbuluara për një periudhë kohore 6 mujore.
  • Kredi të reja SBA nga këto programe (me përjashtim të atyre nën Programin e Mbrojtjes së Pagesave) do të marrin periudhe pagese 6 mujore.

 

  1. Shtyrja e taksimeve të pagave
  • Bizneset mund të shtyjnë pagesën e taksave FICA të punëdhënësve deri në fund të 2020.
  • Pagesat duhet të bëhen në 2021 dhe 2022.
  • Shtyrja është e ndaluar për bizneset që përdorin Programin Mbrojtës së Pagave SBA.

 

  1. Kredite e taksave për mbajtjen e punëtorëve
  • Subjektet e përshtatshme përfshijnë bizneset veprimtaria e të cilave është (1) plotësisht ose pjesërisht të limituara nga urdhërat qeveritarë ose (2) kanë përjetuar një rënie 50% të arkëtimeve bruto që nga 3-mujori i vitit të kaluar.
  • Të vlefshëm për kredi takse prej 50% në $10,000 e parë të pagave të paguara ose të caktuara nga 13 Marsi i 2020 deri në 31 Dhjetor 2020.
  • Punëdhënësit të cilët marrin kredi të caktuara SBA nuk janë të kualifikuar për të marrë këtë kredi.

合衆国商務省: 中小企業への助成金

合衆国商務省: 中小企業への助成金

4月20日月曜日東部時間午後3時より、合衆国商務省による中小企業助成金が実施されます。

この助成金では、従業員3から20名の企業の事業費に対して5000ドルが支給されます。

助成金の請求は大変需要が高いと思われますので、申し込み期間が始まりましたら早目に手続きされることをおすすめします。

貴社のZIPコードが対象になるかはこちらのリンクでご確認ください:https://savesmallbusiness.com/#apply

 


GLOBAL CLEVELAND Opposes Exorbitant Fee Hikes for Citizenship, DACA, and Other Forms of Status

*** MEDIA ALERT ****

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2019

GLOBAL CLEVELAND Opposes Exorbitant Fee Hikes for Citizenship, DACA, and Other Forms of Status

Proposal Would Price out Working Class and Low-Income Immigrants who Already Struggle with High Cost of Application Fees

November 11, 2019 –  Today, GLOBAL CLEVELAND as a member of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), condemns the Trump administration’s proposed fee hikes that seeks to limit access to citizenship, asylum, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and other immigration benefits to those who are eligible.

This announcement comes one week after NPNA, its members, and national allies stood with U.S. Representatives Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Jesús García (D-Ill.), and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) who acted with foresight to protect access to citizenship and the legal immigration process when they introduced the New Deal for New Americans Act, a bill that would write into law the protections needed to prevent the administration’s discriminatory proposal from going into effect.

The proposed rule would increase the U.S. citizenship application fee by 83 percent, changing it from $640 to $1,170. It would also increase the fee for DACA renewals from $495 to $765, giving Trump a tool to prevent DREAMers from applying, if the U.S. Supreme Court allows the program to continue.

Additionally, it would add a $50 fee for certain asylum applications. If implemented, the fees would make the U.S. just the fourth country in the world to charge those seeking asylum.

"The proposed fee increase is a shameful barrier that, if implemented, will limit access to citizenship based on wealth and class and undermine our values as a welcoming and diverse nation with equal opportunity,” said, Joe Cimperman, President of Global Cleveland, “Instead of making it harder for low-income and working class immigrants to naturalize, we need federal leadership and legislation that invests in them, expands access, and benefits us all."

The proposal would also take $207.6 million that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) collects from application fees and transfer it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for enforcement purposes.

“As a community organization that helps low-income and working-class immigrants naturalize and obtain other immigration statuses every day, we know how difficult and cost-prohibitive application fees already are,” said, Joe Cimperman, President of Global Cleveland, “This is why we condemn this rule, that seeks to limit access to what people are eligible for and recommit to working so that all of our community members are welcome here.”

Contact Elizabeth Cusma for more information:  elizabeth@globalcleveland.org

##

 

 


Blessed are the Candle Bearers

              .                                                                                                                 

Everyone has ‘linguistic markers’. Sometimes they mark where you are from geographically, like ‘Baah Haaaabah” for Bostonians. Sometimes they mark what religion you are, like saying ‘mashallah’. Sometimes it’s just your signature word, like Ray Bradbury’s ‘cinnamon’.

Mr. Khizr Khan has three linguistic markers I picked up on during the two days I spent with him at talks in venues around Cleveland: ‘blessed’, ‘uplift’, ‘and candle bearer’. I don’t know what words Mr. Khan uses most often in everyday conversation, but his message featured these at much higher rates than any others. 

It’s not surprising that ‘candle bearer’ is a signature phrase, given that he glows with the inner peace of a man doing his God-given work. But it is a challenging and inspiring phrase. Mr. Khan describes the path as dark, and the candle bearers must walk front and center to lead the way. Mr. Khan challenged every single person to harness their light and use their platform for change, be it waking up early to vote, taking someone who cannot drive to the polling station, standing up and saying one person, one vote does matter. Whatever your platform, use it. Mr. Khan reminded us that history shows us one person’s voice can change the world. “Give me liberty or give me death” is a political reality that many around the world contend with, but we in America are not forced to consider it when we send a tweet or state our opinion. Mr. Khan, however, has lived through it, and that is why he is so passionate about our United States’ Constitution. 

Mr. Khan recounted how he first fell in love with the US Constitution--yes, in love. That is how deeply Mr. Khan values the words that form this idea of a More Perfect Union. It was during a comparative law class that put constitutions from around the world side by side and compared the merits or each. Nothing compared, in his mind, to the 4,543 words that make up this ‘blessed document’. The fire that was lit inside him eventually took him to America to get not one, but two LL.M. degrees from the University of Missouri Law School and Harvard Law School. It gave him a career in and a passion for law that he spreads as a doctrine of freedom and justice. And like many newcomers to the United States, Mr. Khan is deeply patriotic and grateful to this country. He spoke passionately about the 1st and 14th amendments in each talk he gave. 

 

Pop quiz: how many rights are enshrined in the 1st amendment? How are Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board related? 

 

You probably cannot answer those questions unless you are in 10th grade civics. And that is just Mr. Khan’s point. We take our freedom of speech for granted. We take for granted the fact that inhumane court decisions can be overturned when our mistakes have been made clear. 

Mr. Khan spoke with the passion of Martin Luther King Jr., but at the level of Mother Teresa. He cried on stage, pausing to ask the crowd forgiveness for losing his composure. He openly acknowledged that each speech he gives tears open the wound left by the death of his middle child, Captain Humayun Khan, who was inspired by the service of President Thomas Jefferson to enroll in the ROTC program at the University of Virginia. Mr. Khan notes that he lives at the bottom of the mountain where Monticello sits, and that it was a total coincidence that he should live in the shadow of the Founding Father’s home and legacy, and that to his home are delivered bags full of letters, some only addressed “Mr. Khizr Khan, United States of America.” This man single-handedly made the United States Constitution the the best selling book in the world on Amazon, which runs out of it regularly since Mr. Khan took to the speaker circuit 3 years ago. This is also a man who was warned to stay inside during the protests in Charlottesville where, as Mr. Khan said, “our daughter, Heather Heyer, was killed”, but he saw firsthand the heavily-armed protesters and heard their ugly chants. People like this man were the aim of their ire, and yet he continues to speak. He continues to bear the light. He continues to uplift the best in us and to defend that which allows the best in us to thrive-- the rule of law, checks and balances, an independent judiciary, and a government by the people, for the people. 

I could share many more stories of Mr. Khan’s, but I encourage you to see him when he visits you, or invite him to do so yourself. I will leave you with a story Mr. Khan’s grandfather in Pakistan would share with him after the sun had set, the dinner was eaten, dishes washed, homework completed, and the stars shone in the sky: A thirsty man is blocked from the river by a high wall, so high the man cannot climb it. The man, desperate in his thirst, throws a rock from the wall over it and into the river. The sound of the rock in the water fills the man with joy and hope. The man forgetting his thirst continues to throw rocks into the water. The water asks the man, ‘Why do you throw stones into the water you cannot drink?” The man replies, “Because the beautiful sound of its splashing fills all living things with joy, it is like the sound of the guard’s keys to a prisoner, the sound of rain in the desert, and every stone I throw makes the wall a little lower.” Mr. Khan encouraged us all to be like that man: joyous in our struggle, passionate in the pursuit of our goals, and hungry for the sweet drink of redemption. 

“I have seen the sunrise on the other side of the mountain and it is just moments away.” 

I would take Mr. Khan at his word. The night is darkest before the dawn, but that is why we are candle bearers. 


Immigration, “My Kind of Town,” and a Rose Garden - Ezra Ellenbogen

Immigration, “My Kind of Town,” and a Rose Garden

- Written by Ezra Ellenbogen

Pictured Above is a sign commemorating the sister city relationship between Volzhsky, Shaker Heights, and Cleveland Heights; this relationship was eventually merged with the Volgograd-Cleveland sister city program to form the Greater Cleveland - Volgograd Oblast Alliance

Cleveland has many sister cities, in fact, Cleveland has 23 sister cities.[1] To put that in perspective, Washington DC has 15 sister cities[2], Detroit has 11 sister cities[3], and Boston has 11.[4] In short, we have a lot of sister cities. Despite this, one sister city stands out among Cleveland’s many: Volgograd, Russia. Not only has the sister city relationship flourished, even going on to include Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, and Volzhsky (Russia), but the relationship between the cities has helped the Russian culture in Northeast Ohio thrive, making our Russian population[5] feel at home. Recently, the Gagarin Gala helped highlight the numerous Russian cultural contributions to Cleveland as well as celebrating our long-standing partnership with the Volgograd Oblast.

Cleveland and its partnership with Volgograd have made historic strides in the past towards bringing the US and Russia (which was engulfed in the USSR throughout most of the relationship) together. Early immigration to Cleveland included many Russians, and their initial settlement was accompanied by other Eastern European groups (Finns, Poles, etc.).[6] Soon, Cleveland’s Russian immigrants were a major part of the city’s ethnic composition.

Russian cultural influence in Cleveland picked up in the early 1900s, with famous Russian performers like Anna Pavlova coming to visit. Cleveland’s large Russian population meant that the 1917 Revolution had an effect on Cleveland itself. The political disagreements in Cleveland had to do with Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution and rising interest in anarchism. Cleveland’s May Day Riots came at a time of great unrest in the city. This all was caused not only by the disagreement on the political situation back in Russia but also as a result of the First Red Scare and the US’s legal actions taken against many activists. The combination of labor activism and new interests in socialism saw Charles Ruthenberg gain 30% of the mayoral vote in Cleveland. As a result of the May Day riots, Russian immigration to Cleveland increased, and as the events began to blow over, it was clear that the cultural impact of the new Russian population was significant.[7]

Despite the rising tensions between the US and the USSR, culture from Cleveland traveled to Russia and culture from Russia traveled to Cleveland. These exchanges helped ease tensions between the two countries. After the US began to work more with the USSR, two of Cleveland’s leading engineering companies -Arthur G. Mckee & Co. and the Austin Company- contributed to the construction of new Soviet projects, namely the creation of a new industrial city (Magnitogorsk) and an idealist worker’s paradise (Avtozavod), accompanied by the construction of a large automobile factory. This collaboration between the US and the USSR helped encourage their later partnership in World War II and helped to delay Cold War tensions. However, during the Cold War, Cleveland gained minor missile bases.[8]

As the Soviet Union expanded into Eastern Europe, refugees fled worldwide, and many of them came to Cleveland. The most notable group were the Hungarians, who contributed to Cleveland’s culture greatly. As worry increased about the Cold War, people in Cleveland began to call for an easing of relations. Cleveland capitalists began to influence the USSR, helping to influence Krushchev towards cooperation with the US. Krushchev and his advisors gave a gift (specifically, a troika - a Russian sleigh pulled by three horses) of appreciation to Cyrus Eaton, the Cleveland activist who helped spur the movements to cooperate with the USSR. A famous moment occurred when Anastas Mikoyan, Krushchev’s top advisor, became emotional at the sight of Cleveland’s Terminal Tower when he was visiting the city and stated: “Now you’re talking! This is my kind of town!” Cleveland culture was brought to places all throughout the USSR, mostly through the Cleveland Orchestra’s Eisenhower-approved concerts. The Soviet Union returned the favor by offering the rights to a reportedly outstanding opera, which was performed by the Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall in 1935.

In 1985, Cleveland established a sister city partnership with Volgograd, Russia as a result of the cultural contributions of the Russian population in the area had already made and the many collaborations between Russia and Cleveland.[9] Then, a wondrous architectural feat was accomplished, namely: Tremont’s  St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral. This cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and is one of the best representations of Russian cultural contributions to major cities in the United States. The new structure highlighted the capabilities of the Russian population in Cleveland and helped move the sister city relationship forward.

Then, as Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights began to worry about the Cold War and what effects it could have if it was not de-escalated, they signed an agreement with Volzhsky, Russia as sister cities in 1988 (both suburbs were sister cities to Volzhsky). A sign and rose garden were placed at the East end of Horseshoe Lake in Shaker Heights to celebrate the momentous development in Cleveland’s history of cooperating with Russia and helping the US do the same, specifically the involvement between Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, and Volzhsky. The sign and the rose garden are living legacies of this historic sister city relationship. The sign and the garden still stand today right next to the very popular Horseshoe Park - (the “Sister Cities” Rose Garden is pictured at the top of the article).

Ten years later, Cleveland’s partnership with Volgograd, Shaker Heights’ partnership with Volzhsky, and Cleveland Heights’ partnership with Volzhsky were combined to form the Greater Cleveland Volgograd Oblast Alliance (GCVOA).

The GCVOA provided much more than just a sister city relationship. The GCVOA established not only humanitarian aid, professional training, and mutual infrastructure help as services for Volgograd and Volzhsky, but also a Free Speech Forum for the Russian population. The Volgograd-based Free Speech Forum in Russia was patterned after the City Club of Cleveland. Medical help and aid were provided to the region in Russia, mostly through instruction and some visits. Cultural exchange was also important to the program.[10]

This year has seen many great developments in the sister city relationship. From May 1-3rd, Global Cleveland hosted their Inaugural Sister Cities Conference, with the largest delegation there coming from Volgograd. The GCVOA has made plans to re-engage the relationship between Greater Cleveland and the Volgograd area, including free speech discussions and a delegation from Cleveland visiting Volgograd.

On May 3rd, 2019, the city of Cleveland, in cooperation with the Russian population, held the first Russian Community Day. Not only did this celebration help highlight Russian culture thrive once again, but it will also be an annual endeavour. Russian music, ballet, and food was celebrated in Cleveland City Hall. The event did an amazing job of embracing the GCVOA’s goals as well as creating a demonstration of the thriving Russian cultural presence in Cleveland. Mayor Frank Jackson’s idea for “Russian Community Day” will continue on as a legacy for Cleveland’s culture.

And most recently, the Gagarin Gala was hosted by the Russian Cultural Garden group at Great Lakes Science Center, in celebration of a new Yuri Gagarin sculpture in the Russian Cultural Garden and historical contributions made by Cleveland’s Russian population. Pietro Shakarian spoke about the history of Cleveland’s Russian population and brought attention to the many achievements of Cleveland’s partnerships with Russia over the years. Events like this bring Cleveland together, letting our many ethnic groups flourish. The sister city program and its ambitions will allow for Cleveland’s Russian population to feel at home. This historic sister city relationship will continue to have major political and cultural implications in the future and will help Cleveland and its Russian population thrive.

The Russian population of Cleveland has contributed immensely to the local culture and our sister city relationship that came as a result of this helped to provide real political dialogue between the US and the USSR. Events like this show how immigration can shape the world.

Blog: Ezra's blog

[1] https://www.clevelandfoundation.org/2019/05/inaugural-sister-cities-conference-welcomes-23-international-communities-to-cleveland/

[2] https://os.dc.gov/service/dc-sister-cities

[3] http://en.sistercity.info/sister-cities/Detroit.html

[4] https://www.boston.gov/economic-development/sister-cities

[5] http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/cleveland-population/

[6] https://case.edu/ech/articles/cleveland-russian-relations

[7] https://case.edu/ech/articles/m/may-day-riots

[8] https://case.edu/ech/articles/n/nike-missile-bases

[9] Gagarin Gala Event Handout

[10] http://www.oocities.org/gcvoa/projects.htm


Digital Map Draft

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Naturalization Ceremony August 16th, 2019

Welcome to America!

This is what an American looks like.

Families, students, professionals, dreamers, workers.

There is nothing like watching humanity join together is swearing their allegiance to this beautiful, messy, country.

Global Cleveland offers every single new American a welcoming packet full of information about resources in our area that we hope makes them see how much we value them and their incredible efforts along this journey.

Next time you have a Friday free, come join us at the Stokes Federal Court House for a morning you will not soon forget.

From war zones and wealth, Caribbean Islands, and frozen tundras, here in Cleveland we have people from every walk of life choosing to make this their home.

God Bless America and each person that helped our newest citizens on their path to citizenship.