IRS Warns Against Three Tax Scams


The IRS has issued a warning to taxpayers about the three tax scams that may fit them this summer. Identity theft, I.D. phishing, and return preparer fraud topped the charts in this year’s IRS Dirty Dozen tax scams list. These tax scams can happen anytime during the year, not just tax season.

Identity theft

The most widespread of all tax scams, identity theft, has become an epidemic in some states. The use of technology assists scammers to contact victims through emails and web pages. Many taxpayers share their tax and personal information with the scammers who pose as the IRS or a reputable institution, which they use for financial crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns using the victim’s identity.

The IRS takes identity theft seriously and has initiated many programs to help victims and taxpayers.

I.D. Phishing

Phishing is done on the Internet or over the phone. Tax scammers pose as the IRS, a bank, or any reputable organization to extract personal and financial information from taxpayers. Phishing is conducted by sending bogus emails or through fake web pages. Many times, scammers also make phone calls to taxpayers posing as an IRS agent, either threatening or tempting taxpayers into sharing their tax information, which is used to file fraudulent tax returns or commit other financial crimes.

To help curb phishing, taxpayers should forward any suspicious tax related emails to phishing@irs.gov. The IRS shares information on phishing to help taxpayers protect themselves.

Fraudulent Tax Return Preparers

Taxpayers must check the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) before hiring a tax preparer, as the IRS has made it mandatory for all professional tax preparers to get PTIN. Many fraudulent tax preparers alter information on the returns to receive a huge refund. Taxpayers must report tax preparers to the IRS that promise them huge refunds by filing fraudulent tax returns so that others may be saved from falling victim.

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