Countless people find themselves victims of tax preparation scams each year. But with a little research and some street smarts, you can keep yourself safe from scammers.
Do you know all about the latest tax preparation scams? Every year, shady scammers try to take advantage of tax filers. And, unfortunately, they often succeed. Don’t turn your tax information over to a third-party without knowing if they’re legitimate.
Here are the three most common IRS schemes and scams:
#1: We Can Get You a Bigger Refund!
Who doesn’t want more money back from the IRS? However, tax prep services that claim they can get you the biggest refund in town are not always telling the truth. Sure, if a preparer finds the IRS owes you a refund, the government should write you a check. But no one can magically make a refund appear out of thin air.
There are no loopholes in the system. Either Uncle Sam owes you money, or he doesn’t. Avoid any service that promises massive refunds without reviewing your personal tax situation. Remember—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
#2: Update Your Tax Info Right Away!
Most emails that end up in your spam folder are simple nuisances. However, if you discover an email from the “IRS,” someone wants to scam you. Many victims of tax scams responded to a seemingly real email from the government. It may have asked them to update their tax info to process their refund. Other scenarios claim victims owe back taxes and must pay immediately to avoid jail time.
How can you tell an email is fake? Simple—it’s an email. The IRS never corresponds via email, text messages, or social media. If the government wants to get in touch with you, they will snail mail an official letter. You should forward any suspicious emails to the IRS, or call them directly to verify its legitimacy. Never provide personal information to a stranger without knowing their identity beforehand.
#3: You Don’t Have to Claim That!
Run, run as fast as you can if a tax preparer says you don’t have to claim everything. When it comes to filing your taxes, honesty is paramount. Every dollar you make is reportable income. Examples include wages, annuities, investment sales, and gambling winnings. Any attempt to hide money or assets could land you in hot water with the IRS.
Lying to the IRS can lead to steep fines or time in the slammer. When filing your taxes, you want a tax preparer who will double-check that you included everything. They won’t suggest you put money in overseas accounts or try to pad any deductions. And if you do end up getting audited, they will stand behind you every step of the process.
Finally a Tax Preparation Service You Can Trust
What’s the best way to ensure you’re never the victim of a scam? Find a tax preparation service with years of experience and a solid reputation. The experts at Incompass Tax, Estate & Business Solutions have served personal and business clients for over 30 years. No matter your tax needs, we can simplify the process. And best of all, we do it with honesty and integrity. Connect with us online to learn how we can keep you safe from tax preparation scams.