Sen. Ossoff Launches Inquiry to Protect Georgia Small Businesses from Fraud

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working to crack down on fraud threatening Georgia’s small businesses.

Sen. Ossoff and a group of U.S. Senators are urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate deceptive marketing and advertising practices by predatory tax promoters who preyed on small businesses with false claims about the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC).

The ERTC was created to help businesses keep workers employed during the pandemic, but high incidences of fraud have caused a backlog of nearly a million unprocessed claims.

In 2023, ERTC scams rose to the top of the IRS’s “dirty dozen” tax scams list, a significant shift from their absence on the list the previous year. Between 2022-2023, over 9,000 ERTC ads aired on TV.

“We are writing to request that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigates potential abusive and deceptive advertising practices that have led to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) moratorium on processing employee retention tax credits (ERTC),” Sen. Ossoff and the group wrote. “…While this moratorium is meant to give the IRS time to investigate the scams impacting ERTC claimants, we urge the FTC to review whether ‘unfair or deceptive acts’ or violations of advertising laws have occurred.”

Sen. Ossoff is joined by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Michael Bennet (D-CO), John Fetterman (D-PA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Peter Welch (D-VT).

In the inquiry, Sen. Ossoff and the group urged the FTC to work with the IRS to hold these bad actors accountable and protect impacted small businesses from unnecessary penalties.

Sen. Ossoff continues to advocate for small businesses across Georgia.

Earlier this month, Sen. Ossoff held a press conference in Decatur to brief Georgia veterans and small business owners on his bipartisan Investing in VETS Act, signed into law as part of the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act, that will require the Federal government to award at least 5 percent of its contracts to small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. 

Sens. Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock also delivered a $93,047 grant through the USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant program to help Hiawassee develop a functional full-service business development center.

Last month, Sen. Ossoff and Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) introduced the Small Business Contracting Fairness Act to help level the playing field for women- and minority-owned transportation small businesses and help them compete for funding opportunities through the bipartisan infrastructure law.

Click aquí to read Sen. Ossoff’s inquiry to the FTC and IRS.

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