Economy

IRS issues warning about tax scam

IRS issues warning about tax scam”

Tax lawyer Kelly Phillips Erb calls herself the "Taxgirl" and says if this happens, you are likely a victim of the latest tax scam.

The IRS isn't exactly modern.

"If you haven't filed your taxes - especially if you're not expecting a refund - and money shows up in your account, don't touch it".

Wait, what? You didn't file your income tax return yet but suddenly, somehow you spotted a bunch of money in your bank account from a refund? "When people get this phone call and then they go and look at their bank account and actually do see the money there, that lends a greater credibility to what the person is hearing on the other end of the phone".

"Time sensitive and urgent. we found that there was a fraud and misconduct on your tax which you are hiding from federal government". Please share this message! It's pretty clear this was a scam call, if not for the simple reason that the caller did not identify themselves as someone from the IRS.

Analysts see at least some good in these scam evolutions, because they mean that the steps the IRS has taken to reduce fraud are working, forcing criminals to find new hustles.

Q: I received an email claiming to be from the IRS and asking for my bank account information to deposit my refund.

In one version of this scam, the criminals then contact victims claiming to be from a debt-collection agency, and they say the refunds were deposited in error. In some cases, the caller threatens criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant, and to "blacklist" the taxpayer's Social Security Number. The IRS also never requires one specific payment method, and doesn't ask for credit/debit card numbers on the phone.

If you receive an unexpected and suspicious email from the IRS, forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

You're going to want to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit when you file your own tax return to indicate that you were a victim of a tax preparer data breach.

Repaying an erroneous refund in this manner may result in interest due the IRS. Taxpayers who receive a fraudulent tax refund should follow IRS guidelines for returning the money.

The IRS is set to begin issuing tax refunds as of February 27 for many early filers who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. If you plan to visit an accountant, make an appointment early to avoid the rush.

Popular online tax services like TurboTax and H&R Block are easy to use, even for tax novices.

The IRS says direct deposit - which the government also uses for Social Security and Veterans Affairs payments - is "simple, safe, and secure".



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