Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beware of Tax Scams!

So you got an e-mail notifying you that you owe taxes to the IRS and you can send the money in to get it resolved. Before you send any money you may want to check the source. The IRS has been one of several government agencies and corporations whose names and websites have been copied by impostors claiming to be IRS employees and asking for your money. Be aware that the IRS does not contact taxpayers through e-mail in regards to tax debt. DO NOT open links in unsolicited messages claiming to be from the IRS.

E-mail isn't the only way for "scammers" to access your personal information. Phone calls are also a good way to obtain information. DO NOT give away any personal information to anyone over the phone claiming to be from the IRS unless you have verified the callers identity. You can do this by calling the IRS at 800-829-1040 to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Thieves can use your personal information to access accounts, run up credit card balances, apply for personal loans or credit accounts. They can also produce false information and identification enabling them to intercept refund payments and present the IRS with false information leaving you to deal with tax issues you didn't create.

Some of these con artists make a living creating fraudulent tax returns knowing that you (as the taxpayer) are ultimately responsible for all the information on your tax return. Make sure you are using a credible company to file your returns and make sure you review ALL returns for accuracy to make sure they are correct. To avoid these scams takes awareness, a little common sense and making sure you are filing and paying taxes on time as required by the IRS. The last rule of thumb here will help the most.

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