Tax season is officially here. Scammers will be trying to take tax refunds from filers. To prevent getting scammed, keep these tips in mind.
The IRS has released a set of 10 tips to prevent filers from getting scammed this tax season. Overall, if you have someone do your taxes for you, then you should pay extra attention to their credentials and their business. First off, you should always err on the safe side and choose a tax preparer that is open year-round. Tax preparers that only pop up around tax season are often less legitimate.
Regardless of who you choose to do your taxes, make sure to get their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number. Every single tax preparer is required to have one of these numbers. Also, make sure that they are willing to sign the tax return that they prepared for you. On that note, be careful of what paperwork you sign. Double-check all of your information, and never sign a blank tax return. Any tax refund that you get should be set up to go directly to you. Never allow a tax preparer to route your tax refund through them. Lastly, when it comes to choosing a tax preparer, be wary of anyone who tries to promise you an abnormally large tax refund.
Tips on Communicating with the IRS During Tax Refund Season
The other tips that the IRS released are on how to communicate with the federal agency. Scammers will often call or email and pretend to be someone from the IRS. It’s important to note that no one from the IRS will ever call you and say that there’s a warrant for your arrest. Additionally, no one from the IRS will ever call you and threaten to have you arrested if you don’t send a certain amount of money. If you receive a call like this, someone is trying to scam you.
In that same vein, the IRS will never reach out to you via text, email, or social media. They will always communicate with you via mail. Therefore, if you get an email, text, or other digital correspondence from someone claiming to be the IRS, don’t answer. If they send you any links, don’t click on the links. The same goes for any attachments that they send you – don’t open or download any pictures or documents. Lastly, never send any personal information online. That’s a good rule of thumb for any online interaction, actually, not just with the IRS. If they ask for any identifying information, like your social security number, you can be sure that they’re a scammer. Never send any financial or bank information, either.
Tax season has just started. The deadline to file is April 18. To make sure your tax refund isn’t delayed, check out these tips.