As tax season begins, IRS issues warning about evolving schemes
(WFSB) - The 2023 tax season has begun and the Internal Revenue Service kicked it off with a warning.
The hope was to mitigate taxpayers from falling victim to fraud, which it said ramps up this time of year.
A major challenge is that criminals keep coming up with new ways to trick people.
The IRS said that every year it faces new and evolving schemes, which means its job helping to warn and help advise taxpayers is never done.
As concerning and sometimes sophisticated as the schemes can be, the IRS said there are some steps filers can take to protect themselves and their loved ones.
It wants to make it clear that the taxpayer is the first line of defense when it comes to warding off frauds and schemes.
The first step is knowing what to look out for:
- Wisely choose a tax preparer. The preparer should be trustworthy and available year-round. Make sure to get that person’s IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). All paid preparers are required to have one.
- Electronically file the tax return if possible. If filers must mail their returns or payments to the IRS, they should use a physical post office location. Using stand-alone mailboxes can make the tax return and payments susceptible to mail theft.
- The IRS will not call a tax filer to threaten legal action. If anyone receives a call like that, they should hang up. It’s a scam.
- Don’t respond to or click links in text messages, emails or social media posts that claim to be the IRS.
- Protect personal and financial information.
- Report fraud to law enforcement. Submit Form 3949-A, “Information Referral,” if it’s suspected that an individual or a business is committing fraud.
In 2022, the IRS identified $5.7 billion in tax fraud, initiated nearly 1,400 criminal tax investigations, and obtained 699 criminal sentences for tax crimes.
Anyone with questions can go directly to the official IRS website or a trusted certified tax professional.
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