For most people, filing their taxes can be a difficult experience. While you need to make sure you fill in the forms correctly, you also need to be vigilant as there are tons of people that are using the tax season as an opportunity to commit various scams. Today, we’ve accumulated some of the best tax-related tips to watch out for this year.
Find a Qualified Tax Preparer to Prevent Refund Scams
When you hire a professional tax advisor to file your taxes, make sure that you obtain services from a reputable firm. Although most tax investigators are honest, there are still fraudsters posing as tax investigators to steal your refund or commit fraudulent scams. Make sure that the accountant has a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), and this number must be included in your tax return. In general, beware of any tax preparer who promises you a refund that is higher than the average amount or asks for a percentage from your refunds.
Beware of Tax Schemes That Promise You to Avoid Paying Tax or Promises Large Refunds
Fraudsters run ads online and offline and promise big refunds, while legitimate tax advisers only advertise that they get the highest possible refund for you. There are also various fraudsters who claim to have found legal loopholes that allow you to avoid paying taxes in a legal manner. Remember, any tax-related claim that sounds too good to be true is absolutely a scam.
An identity thief may send you an email in response to your tax return pretending to be from the IRS. Keep in mind that the IRS does not request any confidential information from taxpayers, so you can be sure that such schemes are fraudulent. There are emails that may indicate that you have received more than one tax return and require further information. Never respond to any emails that state it is from the state government or agency. If you have any doubts about the origin of the email, make a note of who is sending it and contact the agency directly.
How to Safely File Your Taxes
- Only use licensed tax preparation services that can provide a genuine PTIN number
- Never provide information to any emails claiming to be from the IRS or any government agency
- Never trust a claim that promises large tax refund or some legal way to avoid paying taxes
- Never share any confidential information unless you are sure that you are speaking to a trustworthy tax preparer
Paying off your credit card debt using your tax refund is one of the best ways to boost your financial stability. Getting a tax refund often feels like a “blessing-in-disguise”, but this is actually your own money that you overpaid to the government.
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