Are you committing fraud?
When it comes to money you need to cultivate good financial habits and let go of the bad ones. Over time bad money habits send you spiraling into interest baring debt that consumes most of your after tax income and keeps you up at night. Some money habits however, are fraudulent and can have far worse repercussions than just bad debt.
1. Shopping with someone else’s credit card
Even if your spouse or parent gave you permission to use their credit card, you are committing credit card fraud when you punch in their private pin code or sign their name.
It may seem like a small thing, especially seeing as you have been given authorisation from the credit card holder but by allowing it the credit card holder is breaking the terms of agreement. Protect yourself and the credit card holder, and don’t use their card to pay for things.
2. Lying on credit applications
If you are not 100% honest about your expenses and income when filling out a credit application i.e. credit cards, clothing accounts, loans – you are committing fraud. Not only is it illegal but having access to credit you cannot afford is also one of the easiest ways you will get yourself in over your head. Protect yourself and be painfully honest on loan applications.
3. Not disclosing 100% of your income to SARS
It is common knowledge that being dishonest about your income equals tax fraud. Yet, according to Business Day Live, 256 individuals/entities have been successfully convicted for fraud in the 2014-5 financial year alone. Tax fraud is punishable with exuberant fines, imprisonment, correctional supervision or community service. Be safe and disclose everything!
If some of your income isn’t automatically deducted for tax you have to get into the habit of putting money away every month for it. If you don’t do this the amount you have to pay in at the end of the financial year might cause you to make senseless debt.
Take care of yourself and your finances and adapt good and honest money habits this spring.