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Urgent Warning to Avoid IRS Tax Return Scams

The federal government is warning taxpayers to look out for three red flags to avoid IRS tax return scams this tax season.

With The IRS now accepts tax returnsdetailed agency signs may indicate a fraudster is trying to steal your cash or personal information.

IRS notices increase in tax-related scams during tax filing season

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IRS notices increase in tax-related scams during tax filing seasonCredit: Getty

The IRS says one of the first steps in avoid scams When filing your taxes, you must do your research and choose a reputable tax preparation company.

The tax preparer should review the tax return in detail with you, explaining the fees charged and detailed Refund amount you should expect.

You should then compare the amount to the total you actually received on the refund, IRS Special Agent Andy Tsui told Montana news station KGVO.

SOCIAL MEDIA WARNING

Another warning from Tsui is to be extremely critical of any tax-related information you see on social media.

The IRS sees an increase in tax-related scams during filing season because fraudsters know many Americans are interacting with the IRS to some degree.

Common scams involve someone posing as an IRS employee.

“If you are seeing something online or even on social media, before you take a real step forward in providing information or even paying for something, just step back. one step,” Tsui told KGVO.

“Make sure you do your due diligence, or some kind of research, to make sure it’s not a scam. I think when people act really quickly on something and don’t do some research, they are more susceptible to scams.”

He said the IRS never uses social media to contact taxpayers and will instead typically mail invoices to anyone who owes taxes.

THREE OR NEEDS

Another red flag to watch out for is anyone claiming to be with the IRS while demanding payment or threatening a lawsuit or arrest.

Threats may include bringing in local police or other law enforcement to arrest a taxpayer for tax arrears, IRS warning this week.

“It’s not a tactic used by the IRS and it’s definitely a scam,” Tsui said.

He went on to explain that the IRS only interacts with the public in “very professional” ways.

The IRS will never require immediate tax payment without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or claim the amount owed.

REQUEST A GIFT TRIAL

Tsui warned that the IRS also doesn’t make threatening phone calls against taxpayers, although criminals continue to make aggressive calls as IRS agents.

If the person you’re dealing with – on the phone or online – asks for payment in the form of a gift card or wire transfer, it could be a scam.

Beware that fraudsters often modify legitimate IRS letters and forms so that any document they show you can look legitimate.

You can verify contact from the IRS by visiting IRS.gov and search for a message, notice, or form number.

The form you receive should be the same as the one found on the IRS website in Forms and Instructions section.

If you can’t find the information on the website, or the instructions on the official website are different from what you were asked for in the letter, it could be a scam.

SCAM REPORT

The IRS urges taxpayers to report any illegal documents or phone calls they suspect may be fraudulent.

The recipient was asked to take down the caller’s phone number and then hung up immediately.

The information will then be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for tax administration of them IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Form or by calling 800-366-4484.

Taxpayers should also report the phone number to phishing@irs.gov and include “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line.

The IRS says it's extremely important to any tax-related information you see on social media.

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The IRS says it’s extremely important to any tax-related information you see on social media.Credit: Getty
Fraudsters often modify legitimate IRS letters and forms, according to the agency

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Fraudsters often modify legitimate IRS letters and forms, according to the agencyCredit: Getty
You can verify contact from the IRS by going to IRS.gov and searching for the letter or notice

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You can verify contact from the IRS by going to IRS.gov and searching for the letter or noticeCredit: Getty

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