Tax season is one of the most stressful times of the year for many Massachusetts residents. In order to make filing taxes a lot easier, many people turn to tax professional for help. However, one way to make tax season even more stressful is by falling for a scam.
Scams are in full force this time of year as criminals try to steal the personal information and tax refunds of unsuspecting taxpayers. The IRS recently released its annual list of the ‘dirty dozen’ tax scams to watch for this year, including:
Becoming a victim of identity theft
Identity theft remains a big problem throughout the country, even though officials aggressively pursue perpetrators. During tax season, identity thieves steal people’s Social Security numbers and use them to file false tax returns so that they can claim the refunds. You can help prevent being victimized by taking extra steps to protect your identity.
Falling for a tax scam over the phone
During tax season, a common scam is for criminals to call taxpayers pretending to be the IRS and then threatening arrest or deportation if an immediate payment isn’t made. The IRS will never call you out of the blue or demand an immediate payment, so be very suspicious of people who call your home or cellphone pretending to be the IRS.
Believing false promises for an inflated refund
There are some scam artists out there who promise hugely inflated tax refunds and ask taxpayers to sign a blank return. Before trusting anyone to help you with your taxes, make sure that the person is a qualified tax professional and isn’t charging good money for horrible advice. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Making a donation to a phony charity
Many people choose to make charitable donations at tax time, and scammers know this. That’s why they set up fake charities to attract donations from unsuspecting taxpayers. Before making any charitable donation this tax season, verify the status of the charitable organization that you are donating to so that your money can go to those who truly deserve it.
Keep reading for the IRS’s full list on the dirty dozen tax scams to avoid in 2015.