IRS Warms Public to be Aware of Tax Scams - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

IRS Warms Public to be Aware of Tax Scams

Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9

It's income tax season and many people are working to prepare their tax returns but the IRS is warning people to beware of tax scammers.

Although tax scams happen year round, they tend to occur more often during tax season. That's why, around this this time each year, the IRS issues a list tax scams for people to watch out for.

Clay Sanford, Spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service of Texas, said, "There are plenty of credits and deductions for which people qualify that they can request through a normal tax return. But you need to be careful of those people who would claim to be tax preparers or people who basically claim that they can get you something for nothing."

Most often, people will receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) but the IRS says that's not how they operate. 

"We never call people on the telephone, we never e-mail. If there's a problem with your taxes, you're always going to receive something through the regular U.S. Mail," Sanford said. 

Most tax scammers will call or e-mail from overseas, requesting a payment or some form of personal information such as a credit card or your social security number.

"That's another thing that we see every year, we always see people who get e-mails, who get telephone calls and then unfortunately they're duped into giving someone a credit card number or checking account number and that's exactly what these crooks are looking for," Sanford said. 

Scamming isn't limited to others, you too can be considered a scammer if you falsely claim zero wages, declare a false income or don't report offshore income.

Also, if you file your own taxes online, don't trust every website that you come across. 

Beware of websites like www.irs.com, anything that ends in an extension other than irs.gov. Because there are websites out there that exist to dupe people into giving up personal information so make sure it's www.irs.gov.

If you believe that you have fallen victim to a tax scam, the IRS encourages you to visit them online at www.irs.gov or you can call to report tax fraud by calling 1-800-TAX-1040. 
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