By Wade Farmer
1. One of the best ways to avoid a tax scam is to consult with your CPA. If you’re not sure, then ask. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
2. Don’t trust a return preparer that guarantees you a big refund or charges based on your refund rather than the complexity of your return. Look for a reputable preparer.
3. Got a suspicious-looking email from the IRS? These scams are called phishing, and they are used to steal your identity. A criminal will send you an email claiming to be from the IRS, and it might even have an IRS logo. The email will tell you that you are eligible for a larger refund, or that they need more information, and they will request that you send back your bank account numbers or social security number. The IRS will never initiate contact with you by email. See more about phishing scams on the IRS website, or, if you have any immediate questions or concerns, please contact us.
4. A new scam this year is the abuse of the American Opportunity Tax Credit. Scheme promoters tell their victims they can receive a refund or a stimulus payment based on paying for college even if the victim is not enrolled in college. Promoters claim that you can receive money for paying for college decades ago. These scam artists are targeting seniors, but everyone should beware of this since they will charge you high fees to file these false claims you will be responsible for paying back.
5. Don’t try to hide foreign income or money in a foreign financial account. The IRS has reopened the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program to disclose foreign accounts and assets to ensure you avoid criminal prosecution of international tax evasion. Have an offshore account? Read Jake Hutchison’s blog post for more information.
Have more questions about possible scams? Call or email us, and we will be glad to answer your questions.