Notices in the mail. What’s real? What’s not? And how to tell the difference.

qa.2Dear NPLI Management Solutions, I received an official looking notice in the mail requesting our nonprofit, church, business, etc. to pay a fee for labor posters, corporate minutes, officers statement or corporate compliance.  Are we required to pay? Why? or why not?


RESPONSE.   The simple answer is “NO and not until if/when you are 100% sure the notice is a real notice from a government agency”.   Although your company will receive notices from official government agencies (federal, state, and/or local) with information that you should give attention to; it will also receive notices from companies “pretending” to be or at least trying to mislead you into believing they’re contacting you on behalf of the government.  Here’s why you’re receiving these notices & here’s what to do. 

After your company files its formation documents (“Articles of Incorporation”), the information is accessible to the public.  There are a number of companies that see this as an opportunity to send “official looking” notices in hopes of companies like yours paying money for something they either don’t need or can get in other ways…if at all.   These notices are usually focused on compliance with labor posters or corporate compliance.

LABOR POSTERS

labor postersIf your organization has employees, then it is required to have a labor poster in plain sight where the employees can access and read it.  In most cases, both federal and state posters are required.

These posters can be purchased from a variety of suppliers. Prices vary – so shop around before buying.  Remember, this is only if your church, nonprofit, or business has employees.  No employees = no labor poster requirement.  

 

FREE posters and more information can be found on the US Dept of Labor’s webpage at https://www.dol.gov/general/topics/posters


CORPORATE COMPLIANCE

corporate

If your organization was formed at the state level (for instance, a corporation, Limited Liability Company-LLC, etc.), then it is required to update its information with your state’s Secretary of State’s office.  There are different rules, forms, and deadlines for each state.

Because the Secretary of State usually charges a fee to update your company’s information, this can add to the confusion as to whether or not the request for payment is coming from the Secretary of State or a private company trying to sell you something in a misleading way.

The California Secretary of State has a webpage dedicated to this topic & includes examples of scams and misleading notices.  Visit http://www.sos.ca.gov/business-programs/customer-alerts/

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also has a webpage & resources on the subject of scams.  Visit https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts


FINAL TIPS

helpful tips

Here are 4 things to consider if/when you receive a notice & you’re not sure if it’s a scam, misleading notice or legit communication from a government agency.

 


 

number 1 circleT

WHO SENT IT?  

Take a close look at the sender’s name.  Is it from a Government agency (for instance, Internal Revenue Service, Secretary of State).

 

 

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PAY FOR WHAT? AND TO WHOM?

Take a close look at what you are being asked to pay and why.  Are you asked to make checks payable to a non-government agency?  Are you asked to mail or submit online payment to a non-government agency?

 

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GO TO THE SOURCE!

When in doubt, always go directly to the government agency by calling or visiting a local office.  Caution – do not use the phone number on notice.

 

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LET US REVIEW IT FOR FREE!

For no charge or obligation, we’ll be happy to take a look at the notice & let you know whether it’s a scam, misleading notice, or an important notice from a real government agency.

 

For a 100% FREE, confidential, and no obligation review of 1 or more notices you received, go here to SEND NOW


 

MORE SOLUTIONS FOR YOU

You may also like the following free and low-cost solutions.  More information can be found on our Nonprofit Help webpage or use the form below to send your request.

 

 

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