Beware of unscrupulous preparers, tax schemes
Don't fall victim to tax scams. These schemes take several shapes, ranging from promises of large tax refunds to illegal ways of "untaxing"...
Don't fall victim to tax scams. These schemes take several shapes, ranging from promises of large tax refunds to illegal ways of "untaxing" yourself.
The IRS suggests you remember three important guidelines:
• You are responsible and liable for the content of your tax return.
• Anyone who promises you a bigger refund without knowing your tax situation could be misleading you.
• Never sign a tax return without looking it over to make sure it is accurate.
Beware of these common schemes:
Return-preparer fraud: Dishonest tax-return preparers can cause many headaches for taxpayers who fall victim to their ploys.
On the Web:
H&R Block: www.hrblock.com/taxes/tools. Contains tax tips and calculators.
Smartmoney.com: www.smartmoney.com/tax. Features tax basics and worksheets.
www.taxhawk.com. Select "Tax Tips" for a list of common tax mistakes.
Such preparers derive financial gain by skimming a portion of their clients' refunds and charging inflated fees for return-preparation services. They attract new clients by promising large refunds.
Choose carefully when hiring a tax preparer. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
No matter who prepares your tax return, you are responsible for its accuracy and for any tax bill that may arise because of a questionable claim.
Identity theft: It pays to be choosy when disclosing personal data. Identity thieves have used stolen personal data to access financial accounts, run up charges on credit cards and apply for loans.
The IRS is aware of several identity-theft scams involving taxes or scammers posing as the IRS itself.
It IRS does not use e-mail to contact taxpayers about issues with their accounts. If you have any doubt whether a contact from the IRS is authentic, call 800-829-1040 to confirm it.
For more information about tax scams visit the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov.
— Internal Revenue Service
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