The Federal Trade Commission received more than 1.4 million fraud complains from across the nation. All involving, identity theft, loss of money, etc. People lost $1.48 billion to tax scammers in the year 2018. With a 38% rise in tax fraud cases since 2017, this year the number may go up. Are you ready to file your taxes safely and painlessly?
Here are a few tips to avoid common tax scams in the United States.
1. Tax scammers work all-round the year
Don’t be under an impression that, tax scams only take place during the tax filing season. The filing deadline might have passed but scammer work all-round the year and can deceive you in ways that you cannot imagine.
2. Do not give out personal information via phone calls
Some scammers pose as IRS officials and demand personal information on the phone. Usually, they make you lower your guard by sounding articulate and well-educated. IRS has stated clearly on their website that they never contact a taxpayer viaphone calls, emails or social media outlets.
3. Beware of “Ghost tax return preparers”
It is not a great idea to get your taxes files from an unauthorized tax preparer you met online. Some scammers set up great-looking websites and present themselves as qualified tax professionals. Do not become a victim of such a scammer. They will steal your information and will file a heavy tax return. Which obviously will get transferred in their bank account.
4. Watch YouTube video by IRS themselves
Internal Revenue Service’s official YouTube channel is a great free resource to educate people on common tax scams happening in the United States. Not everyone can read and understand the jargon-heavy text-based information provided by the IRS on their website. Videos are easy-to-consume and can be understood by anyone who English or Spanish.
5. Do not donate to unknown charity organizations
There is nothing wrong with donating money and other valuables to charity organizations like Keep America Beautiful, Clinton Foundation, Feeding America and the Carter Center. These organizations are trustworthy and have done a great job to help the victims of Hurricane Florence. However, some fraud organizations might contact you for donations. Do not trust them with your personal information. All they want is your Social Security number, bank account details, Full name, email address, etc.
According to reports by the Federal Trade Commission, young people are more vulnerable to tax scams. This might seem puzzling as youngsters are usually good internet-savvy and should be able to handle online money transactions better than those in their 40s and 50s. But this is not the case. I hope the above tips will help you avoid tax scams in the future.