9:35 am February 17, 2012, by David Markiewicz
The IRS has released its annual list of tax scams to be on the lookout for this filing season.
“Taxpayers should be careful and avoid falling into a tax scam trap,” IRS spokesman Mark Green said. “Scam artists will tempt people in-person, on-line, using text messages and by e-mail with misleading promises about lost refunds, tax credits and free money. Don’t be fooled by these scams.”
Here are several from the list:
1. Identity theft: The IRS says it is seeing more thieves looking to use a legitimate taxpayer’s identity and personal information to file a return and claim a bogus refund.
2. Phishing: The IRS says it doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers via email to request personal or financial information, including text messages or social media channels.
3. Return preparer fraud: Some 60 percent of taxpayers use a tax pro, and most are honest. But some are not. Watch for a preparer who does not sign the return or put a preparer tax ID number on it; who does not give you a copy of your return,; or who charges a percentage of the refund amount as a prep fee.
4. “Free money” from the IRS: Flyers suggest taxpayers can file a return with little or no documentation. This scam particularly preys on the elderly and low income individuals. Scammers, for a fee, promise money that won’t be coming.
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