April 15 is just 11 days away (actually, this year you’ve got until April 18 for your Federal returns — so you’ve got two whole weeks!) That means we’re in the home stretch for advertising copywriters, who only have a brief window remaining when they know you might be anxious about taxes or angry about the amount of tax you paid and therefore primed and ready for a pitch about some secret way to get your taxes back.
We’ve already written about one of those this year — the Oxford Club was hinting last month about a secret “consumer rebate program” for eligible Americans, also tied to the April 18 filing deadline, and now it’s time to take a look at another. This one is about a way to “tax back” the government… what a cozy thought, eh?
Here’s the headline:
“How YOU Can Legally ‘Tax-Back’ The U.S. Government For $1,720 – $6,988 Starting This Tax Season
**Approximate Deadline To Claim Your First ‘Tax Back’ Check: April 22, 2016”
The new teaser ad is from Zachary Scheidt, who’s telling us that we can “tax back” the government and earn huge returns… all we have to do is subscribe to his Lifetime Income Report to learn the secrets.
As those who have seen some of the previous ads for this newsletter know, it’s almost certainly not that simple to “claim your tax back check” by April 22 — but it’s probably not an outright lie, either, Agora’s lawyers are pretty good at making sure there’s a germ of truth in the marketing hype. Just refer back to the highly misleading “Piggyback on Canadian Social Security” ad that we wrote about last year if you want an example (that one was in the ever-popular “make an ordinary investing strategy sound like a hard-to-find secret by giving it a mysterious name” category).
So what is he actually talking about? The ad opens with “investigative” photos of government facilities, showing the “No Trespassing, U.S. Government Property” signs, and he implies that this is the core clue to a “glitch” that lets you “earn real, hold in your hand cash.” Here’s a bit more of the lead-in:
“Many everyday Americans are already claiming what I like to call ‘tax back’ checks — sometimes running into the $1,000s of dollars….
“This isn’t a ‘write-off.’
“This isn’t a tax credit for installing solar panels on top of your house.
“And this isn’t about starting a home based business… and claiming your children work for you.
“And to be clear, The U.S. government won’t directly pay you this ‘tax back’ cash, and it’s actually not tied in any way to your personal taxes. But, I’ll share the specifics with you in a moment…
“Instead, it’s a simple ‘glitch’ in the system that allows you to earn real, hold in your hand, cash.
“Best of all, this pool of pay-out money is contractually required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.”
And then we start to get the feeling that this is just free money!
“As you’re about to see, there’s absolutely no way the government can fix this ‘glitch’ before the next round of ‘tax-back’ checks get cut. (Which, based on my research, could be as soon as April 22nd.)
“The government is way too big and moves way too slow.
“That means… right now… this glitch is there for anyone to act on.
“Get your name on the list and you’ll claim a check.
“It’s as simple as that.
“Even better, there’s nothing illegal or unethical about exploiting this glitch.Are you getting our free Daily Update
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“No worrying about an audit. No dealing with lawyers. No sleepless nights worrying you’ve done anything wrong.
“You’re simply claiming back a piece of what’s rightfully yours.”
All you have to do is “get your name on the list?” I knew it, there’s a secret list that people are using all the time to get free stuff, and I’m not on it! That is rightfully mine! Argh!
Oh, wait, it’s an ad. Right. So that’s not actually true. I will put out the guess here that “get your name on the list” means “buy the investment that’s going to generate income.” Not as sexy, but let’s see what else Scheidt says about this “list.”
He spends a few minutes railing about government waste, and about the silly headline-generating government programs we’ve all probably seen trumpeted as reasons the government is incompetent — but by now that’s probably preaching to the choir. Americans are predisposed to consider government to be full of pointless waste (until you try to cut their city’s transportation services, or fire teachers at their kids’ school, or underfund VA hospitals), so it’s easy to generate anger and a “take back what’s mine” feeling… which, naturally, helps sell the newsletter.
Know what else sells newsletters? The idea of a lottery-like windfall. Here’s a bit more from the ad:
“69 Year-Old New Jersey Man Stands To Tax-Back The Gov’t For $393,794
“I want you to meet a man named ‘Bill Palmer.’
“I’ve changed Bill’s name as to protect his personal information AND keep him out of the spotlight.
“But Bill’s story is so impressive, I’ve got to share it…
“A frugal lawyer, he used to drive a low-cost Subaru to work.
“But when it comes to getting “tax back,” this ex-lawyer is king.
“You see, Bill is set to exploit this ‘tax back’ loophole for as much as $393,794 this spring.”
Oh, man! Wouldn’t $393,794 be a nice payout for you? It would be delightful for me. How do I get it?
Uh oh. There’s more…
“… this is NOT a common example, because he’s an insider, this 69 year old is rightfully on track to collect nearly $400,000 in ‘tax back’ money.
“Now I want something to be very clear…
“I don’t expect that you and I can get that type of ‘tax back’ money.
“Like I said, Bill’s story is an extraordinary example.
“However, I want to make sure you know that this opportunity is 100% REAL. It’s making a lot of money for serious folks. Bill is a prime example of just how much money is at stake. If you collect just 1/100th of Bill, you’d be looking at $4,000 in ‘tax back’ money.”
Dammit. $400,000 sounds a lot more fun than $4,000. But still, I wouldn’t turn down either amount — so how do I get on this list? There’s still not been any mention of this costing me anything, so what could go wrong… right?
Hmmmm…. then the ad gets back to our point about that “No Trespoassing” sign in front of “U.S. Government Property”… is the “secret” about to be revealed?
“The ‘Glitch’ That’s Created Your Ability To ‘Tax Back’ The Government….
“Right now I’m going to blow the whistle on this HUGE opportunity….
“The property you’re looking at does NOT belong to the U.S. government.
“And while at first this may not seem like a big deal – a little white lie on a government sign – it’s the key behind our chance to finally get some payback! ….
“… a similar white lie is happening at government buildings across the country.”
Ah, so now we’re getting to the point. This is where the Thinkolator gets started up, so we can feed in some clues about what this “glitch” really is… more from the ad….
“… just like the first building I showed you… this building also DOES NOT belong to the U.S. Government.
“Instead a private company owns these buildings.
“This private company buys the buildings and simply leases them back to the U.S. Government.
“In the case of the IRS building in Fresno, CA, the government pays this private company annual rents of $8,384,000.
“For the New Jersey Building, the government pays this company $7,362,000 per year in rent.
“And the list goes on and on…
“In fact, the government is leasing buildings like these in 31 out of the 50 states….
“In total, there are at least 69 other properties… filled with 1,000s of government works… that are all privately owned by this single company.
“The IRS… DOJ… Border Protection… Homeland Security… Social Security… DOE… BLM… FDA… National Ar