Five Tips to Avoid Tax Scams

Tax season is here, and you don’t want to fall for these scammers’ tricks…

Tax season is quickly approaching and unfortunately it is one of the most popular times for people to become victims of scamming efforts. In order to prevent yourself from becoming one of the many who fall prey to these efforts, read the top five ways to prevent tax scams below:

1. Know if you owe: Many of these scammers will contact tax payers through various resources claiming they owe outstanding tax dollars. These methods may include emails, unsolicited phone calls, or mail. Many times the scammers will use resources to ensure their correspondence appears legitimate. For instance, using IRS letterhead or altering their phone numbers so it appears the IRS is calling. By knowing if you truly owe, you are able to avoid these scamming efforts. Tax payers can call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to determine if there is an outstanding balance.

2.  Know your refunds: Scammers may be acting as if they work for the IRS granting you a refund and attempt to obtain your personal information in order to provide you with the “funds”. They may request your banking information, social security number, date of birth, or any other security information they may “need” to make you think they will be making a deposit or wire transfer.

3. Use trusted, reputable tax professionals: Scammers could also be tax preparers who promise the biggest refunds by using tax credits that are really not applicable. Not only is this unethical as a tax professional, but is also illegal which can result in legal issues for both the tax preparer and the tax payer. Scammers could also be posing as tax preparers in order to obtain your personal information, and then steal your identity.

4. Know what the IRS will NOT do:

Call demanding a payment for unpaid taxes without sending a bill first

Demand payment without allowing an appeal, if requested

Require a specific form of payment, or ask for a credit/debit card number over the phone

Threaten tax payers with being arrested or involving different government agencies in the issue

5. Turn in any questionable activity: If you believe tax scammers are contacting you, file a complaint with the FTC and IRS here:

https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/GettingStarted?NextQID=216&Selected=t%20-%20crnt#crnt

 

Resources for this article:

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts

https://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Urges-Public-to-Stay-Alert-for-Scam-Phone-Calls

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One thought on “Five Tips to Avoid Tax Scams

  1. You better know how the real IRS works. They will never conduct any kind of payment over the phone. There are also so many warnings, news, and reports filed at sites like http://whycall.me and another similar sites about them. We should read them, and keep spread the word, at least to our family.

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