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Tips to avoid fraud ahead of Tax Day

Posted at 11:15 AM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 17:46:23-05

With April 15 on a Sunday, Tax Day 2018 is now Tuesday, April 17. What do you need to know to avoid tax scams and identity theft?

The IRS has a list of tax scams on its website. While of course there are telephone scams, there are also scams via email. 

According to the IRS, it will not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. 

Now, what do you do if you suspect you have been targeted by a scam? The IRS has a full list of different situations taxpayers may encounter on its website. There are a variety of different forms depending on the suspect tax fraud.

In addition to scams, the IRS warns of tax-related identity theft where someone uses a stolen Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax return. 

Some warning signs include:

  • More than one tax return filed with that Social Security number.
  • You owe additional tax than when you filled out your return.
  • IRS records show you had wages or other income from a place other than your employer. 

The IRS also provides some steps to take if you do become a victim of tax identity theft fraud here

While many people file their taxes online, others choose a tax preparer. The IRS has a list of tips on finding one on its website

Some tips include:

  • Check the preparer's qualifications and history
  • Ask about service fees
  • Ask to E-file
  • Make sure the preparer is available
  • Provide records and receipts
  • Never sign a black return
  • Review before signing
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