Tax Scams & Consumer Alerts
You might be at work, or at lunch, or with the family, and you get a call from an unknown number. Just like thousands of other people, you answer the phone only to hear the person on the other end claim to be the IRS coming for you. Every year, thousands of people lose millions of dollars and personal information to tax scams. The benefit of having a good tax adviser is that, in the event that you are contacted by the IRS, they can help.
Currently, there are many popular scams out there. Some of those include:
- Calls from fake IRS agents claiming the ability to suspend your SSN or cancel it. This is a scam and would not happen.
- Scammers claiming to be the Taxpayer Advocate Panel. This is a real panel, but also a scam. The panel would not contact the taxpayers directly.
- Ghost tax preparers.
- These scammers usually require cash payments, do not provide receipts, and do not sign the tax return or fill out the tax preparer information on the return.
- They require taxpayers to paper file.
- They often invent erroneous income to qualify for tax credits or claim fake deductions to boost refunds.
- Some even direct refunds into their own bank account.
- Scam calls requiring immediate payment.
- Emails containing links, posing as the IRS.
Scams are always evolving, so it can be important to have a good tax advisor that you can refer to if you are unsure. Here is some advice for taxpayers to avoid scams.
- The IRS does not initiate contact with the taxpayer by email, text, or social media. It is generally done through the mail.
- Taxes owed are paid to the United States Treasury.
- IRS agents carry two forms of official ID.
- Do not click on links from unknown sources or misspelled sources.
- Do not respond to robocalls.
- File taxes early.
- Choose a tax adviser who you can rely upon and trust.
- Look out for family members, especially the elderly. They are a target of scammers.