Scammers Are In Full Force For Tax Season
Tax-related scams flourish when the federal filing season opens. Click Full Article below for a glimpse at the swindles you’re likely to see this year. Great info to pass on to seniors.
The official opening of the federal tax filing season on Jan. 20 is also the unofficial opening of the tax scamming season, the Internal Revenue Service warns.
Tax fraudsters have posed as the IRS in everything from email refund schemes to phone impersonations all aimed at getting you to share your personal financial information. The scammers then use your personal information to steal your identity or to file a fake return and collect a false refund.
The IRS never contacts taxpayers by email and it never needs to ask for your personal or financial information – it already has it from your last return.
The IRS also doesn’t send text messages, nor does it post on your Facebook or Twitter.
There’s no reason for the IRS to ask for your personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords or other passwords for your credit card, bank or other financial accounts.
If you get an email claiming to be from the IRS, don’t open it or click on any links. Instead, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pick Your Tax Preparer Carefully
If you have a professional prepare your return, choose carefully since you’re going to share all your financial information with them. While most preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous return preparers file false and fraudulent tax returns and ultimately defraud their clients.
Even if someone else prepares your return, you’re still responsible for the information on the tax return.
Tips from the IRS on Choosing a Preparer:
- Avoid return preparers who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.
- Don’t use preparers who charge based on the size of your refund.
- Make sure your tax professional signs and enters a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) on your tax return and gives you a copy.
- Consider whether the individual or firm will be around to answer questions about the preparation of your tax return, months, even years, after the return has been filed.
- .Never sign a blank tax form.
- Ask questions. Do you know anyone who has used the tax professional? Were they satisfied with the service they received?
Information provided in part by Heather Murphy Real Estate Group.