As we approach tax season, scammers are on the prowl. This is because scammers use tax season to gain access to sensitive information. This includes attempts to access your social security information, your banking account numbers and more. There are many tactics scammers employ around this time of year. Below you’ll find some common tax season scams to look out for as outlined by our King of Prussia tax lawyers.
A frequent occurrence this time of year involves IRS impersonators. Many people receive robo-calls or voicemails notifying them of tax fraud. Others may receive emails or even notifications on social media. Taxpayers should be aware that these attempts to contact you are on our list of top tax season scams.
If the IRS wants to notify you of a tax issue, they will send you a letter by mail. Only after multiple attempts to contact you by mail will the IRS give you a call. At the same time, whether by mail or by phone, the IRS will never demand a specific type of payment, nor an immediate payment. However, they will tell you to make payments directly to the U.S. Treasury. If anyone tells you to make a payment to some other entity, it is one of many tax season scams. Further, the IRS will never threaten to arrest or deport you if you fail to pay. While you may face penalties for tax issues, arrest and deportation are not forms of penalties the IRS imposes.
If someone comes to your door claiming to be an IRS representative, there are ways of verifying this. The representative must show you two forms of official ID. The information on their ID can be further verified through an IRS telephone number.
To report a scammer, go to IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting or call 800-366-4484.
Social Security number suspension.
Another common tax season scam to watch out for involves phone calls concerning the suspension of your social security number. Typically, the scammer will tell you that the suspension is due to suspicious activity. They will then ask you to reactivate your number by paying a fee or purchasing gift cards. What makes this scam convincing is that many scammers know your name and address. However, there is no such thing as social security number suspension. This is just an attempt to gain access to your personal information.
Ghost tax return preparers.
The IRS requires the signature of anyone you pay to prepare, or to assist you in preparing, your tax return. This person must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN, that they include on the return. Beware of paid preparers who refuse to sign off on helping you with your return. This usually indicates that a scammer is at work trying to make money by promising a large tax refund. If your tax preparer charges a fee based on the size of the refund, it is likely just another tax season scam.
Need Help Navigating Tax Season? Contact Our King of Prussia Tax Lawyers
The attorneys of Troncelliti Law Associates have more than 30 combined years of experience with tax and financial matters. We can help our clients with tax planning, navigating an audit or paying back taxes. To learn more about our services, give us a call today at (610) 365-4240 or leave us a message. And stay wary of 2020’s tax season scams!