Fraudsters will go to extreme lengths to impersonate the IRS and trick you into sending them money for taxes, penalties, or fees that you don’t owe.
4 ways to protect yourself from common tax scams:
Watch out for fake emails, advertisements, or websites that include a link to a false portal that asks for your information.
Pay attention to emails
Taxpayers generally receive letters or notices from the IRS in the mail; and an in-person visit in rare circumstances. The IRS will never send unsolicited emails to you. So, do not open emails that appear to come from the IRS, and never click any links.
If you do receive an email claiming to be from the IRS, forward it to [email protected].
Furthermore, the IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers via prerecorded voicemails, text messages, or social media. The IRS will mail paper bills to taxpayers who owe taxes. So, never provide payment in the form of a debit, credit, or gift card.
Qualified tax preparers will have a Tax Preparer Identification Number that you can confirm on the IRS website. Do not hesitate to ask your tax personnel for their identification number and verify their identity on IRS.gov.
If you haven’t already, file your taxes as soon as possible. In the future, file as early as possible. The tax filing system operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, filing early can beat criminals to the punch.
Use a secure network
When filing your taxes, make sure you connect to a secure network and avoid using a public WIFI connection. If you send your taxes via USPS, take your taxes directly to the post office to avoid any mishandling.
If you believe you have been a victim of tax-related fraud, visit IRS.gov.