IRS Issues Annual List of Tax Scams

April 10, 2019  |  

IRS Issues Annual List of Tax Scams

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.  This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media.

Phone scams

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.

Fake charities

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.

Conclusion

While tax scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place at any time during the year.  Remember to keep your personal and financial information private and be vigilant so you don’t end up becoming the victim of a tax scam.  Click here to read our blog about protecting yourself online. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Adviser is not licensed to provide and does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice to clients. Advice of qualified counsel or accountant should be sought to address any specific situation requiring assistance from such licensed individuals.


About Mark Rioboli, CFP®, CFS

Mark A. Rioboli, CFP®, CFS is Director of Wealth Management for Independence Advisors, bringing over 30 years of experience in the wealth management industry. Have a question for Mark? CLICK HERE TO ASK MARK
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