IRS reveals the top tax scams of 2017
1. Identity Theft – Tax time brings extra activity among thieves looking for Social Security numbers and other personal information that allows them to falsely claim refunds (not to mention running up bills and draining bank accounts). Be very protective of your personal information. If you would like to monitor your credit to prevent identity theft and see your credit reports and scores, check out our credit monitoring service.
2. Phishing – The IRS does not e-mail you or direct you to websites regarding any bill without prior contact. Do not be fooled by e-mails encouraging you to click on links to a site in reference to your tax bill; the website may be a fake, designed to gain your personal information.
3. Phone Scams – Con artists sometimes impersonate IRS agents and threaten arrests, deportation, and other unpleasant outcomes unless a bill is paid immediately over the phone. No matter what horrible things you think about our tax system, the IRS does not do business this way. Never give out your personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and are sure you are dealing with a real IRS agent.
4. Preparation Fraud – Some tax preparers bend the rules in order to get you the highest refund possible. Unfortunately, once you sign and file the return, you are responsible for any errors. If you choose to have others do your taxes, be sure to use a reputable tax preparer.
5. Offshore Tax Avoidance – The IRS is cracking down on hiding money offshore to avoid tax payments. If you find yourself in this position, use the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) to make things right — or run the risk of severe penalties.
(Please continue on next page)