The IRS recently issued its annual list of tax scams. The list highlights various scams that taxpayers may encounter, many of which occur during tax filing season. Here are some of the scams that are highlighted on the list. Phishing
Phishing scams usually involve unsolicited emails or fake
websites that pose as legitimate IRS sites to convince you to provide personal
or financial information. Once scam artists obtain this information, they use
it to commit identity or financial theft. The IRS will never initiate contact
with you by email to request personal or financial information.
includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social
Phone scams typically involve a phone call from someone
claiming you owe money to the IRS or that you're entitled to a large refund.
The calls may show up as coming from the IRS on your Caller ID, be accompanied
by fake emails that appear to be from the IRS, or involve follow-up calls from
individuals saying they are from law enforcement. Sometimes these callers may
even threaten you with arrest, license revocation, or deportation. Identity theft
Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security number to claim a fraudulent tax refund. You may not even realize you've been the victim of identity theft until you file your tax return and discover that a return has already been filed using your Social Security number. Or the IRS may send you a letter indicating it has identified a suspicious return using your Social Security number. Return preparer fraud
Sometimes scam artists pose as legitimate tax preparers and
try to take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers by committing refund fraud or
identity theft. It's important to choose a tax preparer carefully since you
are legally responsible for what's on your return, even if it's prepared by
someone else.Inflated refund claims
Taxpayers should be wary of anyone promising an unreasonably
large or inflated refund. These scam artists may ask you to sign a blank return
and promise a big refund without looking at your tax records or charge
fees based on a percentage of the refund.
Groups sometimes pose as charitable organizations in order to
solicit donations from unsuspecting donors. Be wary of charities with names
that are similar to more familiar or nationally-known organizations. Before
donating to a charity, make sure that it is legitimate. The IRS website has tools
to assist you in checking out the status of a charitable organization.