A recent article/video at money.cnn.com discussed three top tax scams, as follows:
1. Identity theft. To know whether your identity has been stolen for purposes of filing false tax returns, watch for a notice from the IRS that multiple returns have been filed using your tax identification number. If you find that more than one return has been filed, take action immediately.
2. Phishing Scams. The IRS does not communicate with taxpayers via e-mail, facebook, text message, or other similar means. It uses good ol’ fashioned U.S. mail. Don’t support scammers…delete e-mails that purport to be from the IRS. If you are nervous about an e-mail or communication that you think is from the IRS, visit with a CPA or tax attorney immediately.
3. Preparer Fraud. If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, they should sign it at the bottom. If they don’t, you should question the legitimacy of your tax return preparer. As tax attorneys and estate planning attorneys, we occasionally have clients who have engaged in questionable tax planning bring in their tax returns and find that someone was preparing their return, but not signing it. This is a problem. Find a good, legitimate tax preparer to assist you as needed. You would think soliciting tax preparation business would be qualified and might be licensed, but such is not the case.
We recommend that you use a CPA to prepare your tax returns. We are familiar with many CPAs in our office. Please call us if we can help you by giving you a good CPA referral.