Tax season officially begins next week, and before it does, your BBB® would like to remind you that schemes related to your taxes continue to abound.
We still receive multiple calls per week from consumers who have received calls from someone claiming to be the IRS. This scheme has been ongoing for several years now. The caller will claim that the consumer has failed to pay taxes and will, among other things, be sued or arrested if they don’t pay right now. The caller will then either ask for the money to be wired or placed on a Green Dot card. These calls are a scheme as the IRS will not call you about your taxes.
We’d also like to remind you that the IRS will also not contact you via email or your social media pages about unclaimed refunds, a failure to pay taxes, or to update “your IRS e-file.” Often times, these types of communications are sent to solicit your personal information, in other words, they are often phishing attempts. Any that contain links or attachments may also contain malware. If you receive an email like this, don’t reply. You can forward the email to email@example.com and then delete it.
Lastly, we’d like to remind consumers to choose their tax preparer wisely. Last year, more than 60% of consumers used a tax preparer and while most provide honest services to consumers, others may use your information for refund fraud or identity theft. The IRS does have a web page to assist taxpayers in this effort. For tips about choosing a preparer, details on preparer qualifications and information on how and when to make a complaint, you can check out IRS Fact Sheet 2014-5, IRS Offers Advice on How to Choose a Tax Preparer. In addition, you can also check out any tax preparation business with your BBB.
For other tax schemes and alerts, you may wish to visit the IRS’s website.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville.