Tax Scams That Could Cost You - WSPA.com

Tax Scams That Could Cost You

Posted:
By Diane Lee

Nothing is certain except death and taxes, except maybe scammers who see tax time as a way to make a quick buck.

Michael Manly in Anderson says his own tax preparer tried to put one past him.

"They didn't level with me in order to get these extra charges and then get the money for it.  They had charged me for a premium package that they didn't inform me about. Had I known upfront, I would not have chosen the premium package which was useless to me."  

IRS Enrolled Agent Dan Thomas says tax prepare fraud takes many forms.  Some have been caught falsely inflating your return.  But a warning; you're signing the return, so you are still on the hook.

He also warns some companies that claim to wipe out your tax debt are ripe with scams.

"I see this all the time where they're saying do you have IRS debt, we can help get you off, but most of the time those things like that are phishing for your personal information, they're maybe asking for money up front," said Thomas.

Another phishing scam could hit you online where fake emails claiming to be from the IRS try to fool you into giving up your personal information.

The rule of thumb: "The IRS never emails the taxpayer," said Thomas.

"Tax preparers say a scam that's growing more common has to do with identity theft.  You go to file your tax return.  Only to find out someone else already has used your name and social security number."

Finally, one of the most prevalent scams is committed by tax payers themselves who overstate chartable donations and other deductions to beef up their return.  

Watch out, the IRS has updated software aimed at catching returns that are just too good to be true.

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