It’s that time of year again…tax season! While many people are excited to get their tax refund, others are worried about being scammed. Tax scams can come in many different forms, such as phishing emails, websites, phone calls, text messages and even social media posts. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 of the most common tax scams to be on the lookout for. Stay safe this tax season by being aware!
1. Phishing Emails and Websites
Phishing emails are one of the most common tax scams. These fraudulent emails typically appear to be from a government agency or tax software company and promise unrealistic refunds or threaten penalties if you don’t take action. If you receive an email that looks suspicious, do not click on any links or open any attachments.
Websites that promise unrealistic refunds or tax savings are another common scam method. These websites often imitate legitimate tax software companies or government agencies in order to trick taxpayers into entering their personal and financial information. If you’re not sure whether a website is legitimate, you can check the IRS’s list of approved e-file providers.
2. IRS Official Impersonation
Posing as an IRS official is another common tax scam. Scammers will often call or email taxpayers, claiming to be from the IRS and demanding payment for taxes owed. They may also threaten to take legal action if you don’t pay up. The best way to protect yourself from this scam is to know that the IRS will never call or email you out of the blue to demand payment. If you receive a suspicious call or email, hang up and report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
3. Tax-Related Services Scams
Offering tax-related services is another common scam, especially during tax season. Scammers will often cold call taxpayers, promising to help them file their taxes to get a bigger refund. They may also offer to prepare your taxes for a fee. Remember, you can always file your taxes for free through the IRS website. And if you need help, you can contact a tax professional.
4. Unusual Payment Method Scams
Finally, requests for payment by unusual methods is another common scam. The IRS will never demand that you pay your taxes with a prepaid debit card, gift card or money transfer (i.e. PayPal, Zelle, Cashapp, Venmo, Western Union, etc.). And they will never threaten to have you arrested if you don’t pay up. If you receive a call or email like this, hang up and report it to the IRS immediately.
Don’t let tax scams ruin your tax season! Be on the lookout for these common scams and report them to the proper authorities if you receive one.
If you have any questions about tax scams or how to avoid them, contact a tax professional today. They can help you navigate the tax season and make sure you don’t become a victim of fraud.