The Internal Revenue Service has issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” ranking of tax scams, reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.
Richard Panick with the IRS says one of the scams is a new take on an odd scam- if it’s too good to be true it’s probably is a Phishing scam and should be reported. Panick says the IRS does not reach out to tax payers electronically. When in doubt call the IRS.
“When you hear something that is too good to be true be very careful. Because if you get something that purports to be from the Internal Revenue Service, call us. And more importantly, if you get an e-mail like that, we’re asking you to send it to us and we have a special e-mail address which is firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Something new for tax preparers this year is the required tax ID number. If your tax preparer does NOT put one on the return, ask about it.
“This year, every paid preparer needs to have something called a preparer tax identification number and it needs to be entered on the returns that they prepare. One of the things you need to watch for is a preparer who doesn’t sign the return or place that tax preparer identification number on it.”
For a list of all 12 of the dirty dozen tax scams, go to the website irs.gov.