A new year brings a new tax season. As you prepare to file, fraudsters are preparing to try and scam you.
The Internal Revenue Service’s website warns of tax and consumer scams targeting taxpayers, and we want you to be aware of them too. Here are some of the popular scams this time of year.
According to the IRS, tax season is considered ‘prime time’ for phone scams. This may include:
- The caller demanding immediate payment using methods such as a gift card, debit, or wire transaction.
- The caller threatening to involve law enforcement if the taxpayer does not pay.
- An unexpected call about tax fraud.
- The caller demanding taxes be paid without the taxpayer having an opportunity to question or appeal the amount.
Just remember: the IRS will never call with any of these demands. IRS employees may call taxpayers for certain matters but not without attempting to notify the taxpayer first by mail.
Social Security Number Scam
Some scammers are now claiming to be able to suspend or cancel the taxpayer’s social security number. This is an attempt to scare the victim into returning their calls. The IRS recommends if you answer one of these calls, just hang up.
‘Ghost’ Tax Return Preparer
If you have someone else assist you in filing your taxes, make sure they’re a valid preparer. The IRS wants you to be aware of ‘ghost preparers,’ or someone who doesn’t sign the tax returns they prepare. They could be looking to make a profit by promising a large refund and charging fees based on that refund size.
Every preparer should have a Preparer Tax Identification Number or PTIN.
‘Tax Transcript’ Email Scam
Another popular method among scammers is sending an email to bait you into opening its documents. Beware of fraudulent emails impersonating the IRS and using tax transcripts to entice you. Many times, these emails contain malware.
This tax season, Ameris Bank is with you. Along with keeping an eye and ear out for scams, here are the necessary documents you may need for tax season.
Always remember: scams can happen year-round, not just during tax season. If you believe you have been a victim of a tax scam, you can report it on the IRS website.
Published January 2023
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Ameris Bank is not affiliated nor endorses the company featured in the article