August 18, 2019

IRS Impersonator Scams: Here are a Few Things You Should Know so You do not Become a Victim of an IRS Impersonator Scam.

IRS Scams.


IRS Impersonation Scams are ongoing, with new scams popping up on an ongoing basis.  Here are a few tips from the IRS Tax Tip 2019-87 to help prevent you from becoming the victim of an IRS Scam.


Tips to Help Taxpayers Recognize Tax Scams


New versions of well-known tax-related scams appear every year…and 2019 is no different. No matter what time of year, taxpayers should be on the lookout for scams. Here are some things taxpayers should remember to help them spot scams and avoid becoming a victim.


Telltale Signs of an IRS Impersonator Scam


Taxpayers should remember that the IRS generally first mails a bill to a taxpayer who owes taxes. The IRS and its  authorized private collection agencies will never:
  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments.
  • Ask for checks to third parties. The IRS has specific instructions on how to pay taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
If a taxpayer receives a phone call, but doesn’t owe taxes and has no reason to think they do, they should:
If a taxpayer owes tax or thinks they do, they should:

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

August 15, 2019

Healthier Eating and Living: Easy One-Dish Meals That Are Both Healthy And Good!

Simple Cooking.


So often, simple cooking = the best cooking.  And you know what?  Many simple recipes can also part of Healthier Eating and Living in your life.

I love salads and casserole-type dishes.  Heck, often leftover casserole tastes better the next day! 

Neither has to be boring or difficult to prepare.  Ready to put some easy one-dish meals into your dinner rotation?  (Or supper rotation, as some areas of the country call the 3rd meal of the day.)  Check out these 10 Easy One-Dish Meals from Betty Crocker.  Sure to provide some yummy, nutritious, and easy meals for your dinner (or supper) table.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  Mary loves to cook and bake, with an emphasis on simple recipes and fresh produce.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

August 13, 2019

Homeowners Insurance: Know Your Policy so You Know What is Covered. And What Isn't.

Homeowners Insurance.


Homeowners Insurance is required if you have a mortgage on your property.  But truly, folks, Homeowners Insurance is simply essential to carry if you own a home.  True, you may never make a claim on the policy ... And that would be a good thing!  But if you incur a significant - or perhaps catastrophic - loss such as a fire in your home, the financial burden of the loss may simply be too much for you to bear.

But do you know what is ... and is not ... covered for loss or liability on your Homeowners Insurance policy?  To help you with that question, this post is the first of an occasional post devoted to just that:  Identifying events, losses, and liabilities that are ... or are not ... generally covered under an insurance policy.

Pest Damage
Is Pest Damage Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?


Just discovered you have a termite problem in your home and garage?  Or perhap you've discovered roof rats in your attic, and areas in your home the rodents have chewed through to gain entrance.

If you think your Homeowners Insurance will pay for the termite abatement, or that your insurance will pay for trapping the rodents and repairing the rodent-induced damage to your home, you're out of luck.  Damage from small pests - such as mice, rats, squirrels, and termites - is generally not a covered loss under Homeowners Insurance.  Policies typically define these small pests as "vermin" in the coverage exclusion.


On the other hand, damage from large pests is generally a covered event.  So if a bear smashes its way into your home and consumes the 2 cartons of mint chip ice cream in your freezer and the  pounds of cheese in fridge, the damage to your home, including the is cream and cheese, is generally a covered loss.

Concerned About Homeowners Insurance Matters?
Concerned about Tax, Insurance, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

August 12, 2019

Life Insurance Litigation: Are You Looking For a Life Insurance Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA.

Life Insurance Litigation.
Life Insurance Expert Witness.


Are you looking for a Life Insurance Expert Witness to address Life Insurance Litigation or Arbitration Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing life insurance concerns for clients throughout the United States.  She provides Life Insurance Consulting Services, in addition to Expert Witness Services for Life Insurance Litigation Matters. 

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

August 9, 2019

Your Odds of Becoming Disabled? That's a Question Nearly Impossible to Answer.

Disability Insurance.

Healthier Eating and Living.


As a Life and Disability Insurance Analyst licensed by the California Department of Insurance, one of the questions posed by clients with Disability Insurance concerns is:  "What are the odds that I will become disabled during my working years?"

And my answer?  Not one I would prefer to give ... but ... "That question is unfortunately nearly impossible to specifically answer."

Why so?  Well, there are so many variables, and so many data sources (some of which are most certainly not objective, unfortunately) that all I can typically tell clients is a very general answer:  low risk, middle-of-the-road risk, high risk, or such a very high risk that your occupation is considered uninsurable for insurance company issued Long Term Disability Insurance.

Oh, and one more thing:  Lifestyle choices can greatly improve your odds of not becoming disabled.  Eating well, exercising, avoiding excessive stress and risky activities, and getting adequate sleep all work in your favor for better odds of leading a non-disabled life.

For another take on the "odds of becoming disabled" question, read this New York Times Column "The Odds of a Disability Are Themselves Odd".  The column was written some 9 years ago, but it's still relevant today. 

Disability Insurance Concerns?

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, or Related Financial Matters?

About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

August 6, 2019

Backyard Summer Fun with Sid and Lexi!

Sid and Lex.


My Faithful Canine Companions who provide me with Unconditional Love each and every day.

I don't know what I would do without a dog or two to share my life with!

Here are Sid and Lexi enjoying some Backyard Summer Fun.  And once again I'm reminded to Live in the Present as Sid and Lexi do.  After all, each day is a gift, and there are so many, many things in your life you truly cannot control.


Unconditional love is as close as your nearest Animal Shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

August 3, 2019

Data Security: Do Your Tax Preparer and Insurance Agents Have Adequate Data Security Plans?

Data Security Plans.


Do you know that financial service providers are required, by various federal and state laws, to create and implement data security plans to protect the privacy of client information?  Professionals subject to these laws cover a very broad area, including not just stockbrokers, bankers, and investment advisors, but also tax preparers, insurance agents, and similar consultants.  The Data Security Plan must cover all forms of client communication and documents, including both electronic and paper data.

This Data Security Plan is in addition to Client Privacy Policies, which must be provided to new clients, and then made available to existing clients on at least an annual basis.

Hackers and Identity Thieves abound.  Everyone should be concerned about the safety of their private information.  Don't hesitate to ask your financial services professionals about their Data Security Plans.  Data safety is no laughing matter, for sure.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts