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IRS Reports Tax Scams are On the Rise

August 15th

In recent months the IRS has seen a sharp rise in attempts to get taxpayers to file false claims for tax credits or rebates. These scams have been largely aimed at lower income taxpayers, those with The IRS has noticed these tax scams becoming a particular problem in the South and Midwest, often tied to local church groups. In such cases, advertisements are typically posted, claiming that so-called “free money” is available from the IRS. The scams go on to claim that little or no documentation is required in order to claim the money. Since these scams are often tied to church groups, this gives them an air of authenticity among many potential victims.

A number of schemes specifically targeting lower income or elderly individuals have been told they may be entitled to refunds based on excess Social Security benefits. Such scams typically inform victims they can transfer money directly into accounts from the IRS, with the only requirement being that the taxpayer fills out the requisite form.

How Can You Avoid Such Scams?

Though it can be surprisingly easy to be lured in by the promise of free money, don’t be fooled. Keep a careful eye out for the following, and you will be certain to avoid falling victim to a tax scam:

  • Avoid any offers that claim you can receive tax refunds or rebates without any documentation. The IRS will never hand out refunds without the appropriate information.
  • “Reconstructed” tax forms that misstate your income are a commonly used tool in tax scams.
  • Avoid any tax preparers who refuse to sign tax return forms.
  • Never give out any bank or personal information that is not directly related to your taxes. If a tax refund offer asks for any of this information, it is most likely a scam.
  • Never give out any large, upfront payments for services from tax preparers. Tax scams in these cases will often use fake companies or falsely claim that services will be delivered overnight.
 
 
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