Tax season is also the season for scams targeting taxpayers. Understand the most common scams to protect yourself, your personal information and your finances.
This occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your Name, Social Security Number (SSN) or other personal identifying information, without your permission. It is often used by scammers to fraudulently file tax returns and claim refunds.
If you file a tax return and then receive a letter from IRS that another tax return was filed using your name, OR if you don’t file a tax return and then receive a letter that a tax return was filed using your name, the false tax filing could be due to identity theft.
Your identity could be stolen, or misused by a former spouse, family member or business partner.
If you believe that you are at risk of identity theft due to lost, stolen, or misused personal information, contact the North Carolina Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic of Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy.
Phishing is usually carried out with unsolicited e-mails or fake websites to steal your personal and financial information. All you must do is click on false links and your personal information could be compromised.
Keep in mind, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail to request personal or financial information.
Some tax scammers also use snail mail; so be aware, when you receive regular mail that purports to be from the IRS too. If you are not sure, contact the IRS directly.
Tax Preparer Fraud
Keep in mind, as a taxpayer you are legally responsible for the information you represent on your tax return, even if the tax return is prepared by a third-party professional.
“Free Money” from the IRS
There is NO SUCH THING as “free money” from the IRS. Be skeptical of flyers and advertisements promising you “free money” from the IRS. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.