Each year the IRS compiles a list of 12 prevalent tax scams that take place throughout the year. Below is a list of these scams discussed in more detail.
Taxpayers need to be wary of fake email, texts, websites, and social media outreach by individuals that are actively trying to steal your personal information. The IRS will not contact taxpayers via email with regard to bills, notices, or the like. In addition, the IRS will NOT accept payment information over an email (routing number/account number/credit card information).
So what would a phishing scheme look like?
- A criminal posing as an IRS representative seeking payment. The logos and website landing pages may look very convincing.
- A criminal claiming to be from a collection agency seeking payment.
- If you are a tax professional, hr professional, or payroll processor the criminal pay pose as:
- a business asking for payment of a fake invoice;
- employee seeking to update direct deposit information; or
- a familiar contact asking for a wire transfer
- Please Note: These are NOT exhaustive lists of the many ways a criminal may try to trick you into providing your personal information or stealing your money
If you believe you have received a fraudulent email or other communication that appears to be from the IRS or related agency, you can report the incident to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be wary of who you provide your social security number, individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), or employer identification number (EIN) to. Identity thieves attempt to use your personal information to commit a number of schemes, including fraudulent tax returns to claim refunds.
Taxpayers should exercise caution when selecting a tax preparer. Taxpayers can be misled by preparers that do not understand tax, convinced to take credits or deductions they do not actually qualify for, in an attempt to legitimize the preparer’s increased fee.
What are some things should you look for when selecting a preparer?
- Year-round availability to answer questions that may arise throughout the year
- Professional credentials such as an enrolled agent, CPA, or attorney bar license
- Preparer’s history with the Better Business Bureau, state bar association (for attorneys), or state board of accountancy (for CPAs)
More to come!