Tips To Spot Tax Scammers
The 2023 IRS tax deadline is April 23rd this year with the combination of April 15th falling on a Saturday and the Emancipation Day Holiday on April 17th in Washington, DC.
The deadline will arrive shortly and this is the time of the year that, you know, we hear lots of warnings about fraud involving your taxes.
Fraud can take the form of Phone scams, phishing or email messages and fraudulent tax preparation
Wenatchee Certified Public Accountant Kyle Meissner with Cordell, Neher and Company in Wenatchee says the IRS will not make initial contact with you by telephone.
"Typically the IRS is going to send you a notice that you owe them money by mail. If you get a phone call from the IRS, there's a pretty good chance that that's not the IRS. So don't give them any of your personal information. That's really the key to be skeptical of any phone calls or emails that claim they're the IRS because that's not their normal method of of operation."
Other tips a call may be a scam;
- IRS does not call about unexpected refunds, or ask for personal info over phone
- Don’t give personal information to anyone you don’t know over the phone
Meissner advises if you are not sure about the validity of the caller you can verify their credentials by requesting that the caller send a letter from IRS about the purpose of the contact. You can call the IRS back at 1-800-829-4933 to verify the credentials but do not use a number provided by the caller.
Other ways to avoid a scam by phone;
- IRS doesn’t take payments via phone
- Only make payments via the IRS direct pay website or checks made out to to the Department of Treasury mailed to the correct IRS mailing address with the IRS payment voucher.
Phishing or Email Scams
Meissner says the IRS doesn’t communicate via email so all of the customary precautions when receiving an email message should be practiced. Scammers are very sophisticated and you should never click on any link or open attachments from a sender you don't know or can't verify. IRS doesn’t take payment via email links
Tax Preparer Fraud
Be wary if a tax preparer promises a large refund, especially if it is out of the ordinary from your customary refund history.
Ask the tax preparer questions explaining why the refund is out of line with your expectations
Meissner says the concern over promises of finding a large refund are troublesome if the preparer is offering to base their fees on the refund amount.
Kyle Meissner and Tim Dilley share their expertise and answer your questions every Thursday during the Tax Tips Thursday segment at 1pm on NewsRadio 560 KPQ