27 Mar Tax Phishing and Scams are in Full Swing, Don’t Fall Victim
As tax season is in full swing, so are tax scams. It is important to remain vigilant as possible during tax season to protect you and your firm against potential tax fraud. Historically, taxpayers lose a considerable amount of money each year due to tax scams. The IRS identified $1.8 billion of total tax fraud during the most recent fiscal year. SDDco-PC offers both accounting and tax compliance services to help you secure your financial future.
Type of tax scams are:
- Phone scams threatening arrest, deportation or license revocation if the victim doesn’t pay a false tax bill. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, phone scams have cost some more than $72 million since October 2013.
- Phishing scams such as e-mails, text messages, websites and social media bait taxpayers into providing their personal information or clicking compromised links that install malware onto a device. Consumers have reported nearly 7,700 IRS scams since 2014, resulting in $2.2 million in total losses, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Identity Theft steals a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number to file a fraudulent return claiming a tax refund.
- Accountant fraud is where scammers pose as tax professionals such as accountants and commit refund fraud and identity theft. Over 27,000 consumers reported tax-related identity theft fraud in 2019.
On the bright side, new data suggests some of these scams are declining in frequency due to stepped-up security efforts from the IRS. However, that just means criminals are forced to become craftier. One rule of thumb is that the IRS generally reaches out to taxpayers via mail, not with an unsolicited phone call or e-mail.
- Don’t give out personal info over the phone
- Don’t open attachments or click links on suspicious emails
- Always ask questions to your tax preparer if you have any concerns
- Run checks on BBB and the state’s Board of Accountancy for credentialed tax preparers