Tax Season and Beyond: Arm Yourself Against Scams!

Tax season might be the peak time for scammers, but their hustle never sleeps. Whether you’re a seasoned taxpayer or a trusted tax professional, staying informed about their evolving tricks is crucial for protecting your money, identity, and data. Here’s a lowdown on some common tax scams to keep your radar up:

Social Media Mischief: Don’t let catchy posts on your feed lure you into tax faux pas. Scammers love spreading misinformation about credits, refunds, and “too good to be true” loopholes. Remember, the IRS wouldn’t announce secret tax breaks on Facebook!

Fake Online Account Helpers: Steer clear of third-party offers to set up your IRS Online Account. These “helpful” strangers are just a phishing ploy to steal your personal information. Head straight to for the real deal.

Phishing & Spearphishing Phantoms: Watch out for unsolicited emails and texts masquerading as the IRS, financial institutions, or even your state tax agency. They aim to trick you into revealing sensitive information like Social Security numbers. Don’t click on suspicious links or reply with personal details.

Spearphishing: Tax professionals, be extra vigilant! Scammers might tailor fake emails imitating real clients or colleagues to gain access to your data and compromise your clients’ security. Stay alert and double-check before responding to sensitive requests.

Uncrupulous Tax Preparers: Not all tax pros are heroes. Be wary of preparers who:

  • Charge fees based on refund size (a red flag for inflated returns)
  • Refuse to sign your return (avoid “ghost” preparers)
  • Ask you to sign a blank or incomplete return

Remember, you’re ultimately responsible for your tax return, so choose your preparer wisely!

Offer in Compromise Mills: Don’t fall prey to “mills” who aggressively push Offers in Compromise, a program meant for those struggling to pay their taxes. These shady businesses often target ineligible individuals and charge exorbitant fees. Use the free IRS Pre-Qualifier tool to check your eligibility before jumping on shaky promises.

Stay vigilant, stay informed, and keep your finances and data safe this tax season and beyond! Remember, the IRS never demands payments through phone calls or emails, and they value your security as much as you do. If anything smells fishy, report it to the IRS and seek help from trusted professionals. By staying aware, we can all outsmart the scammers and keep our tax season smooth sailing!

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