Protect Yourself During Tax Season
Each year, thousands of people fall victim to the misuse of their identity and personal financial information. Tax scammers are ramping up their efforts to lead unsuspecting tax filers astray, hoping to get their personal information or make them send money.
Here are some essential reminders to safeguard yourself against tax season fraud:
- Beware of Communication Methods: The IRS primarily contacts taxpayers through regular mail, not via email, text messages, or social media. Avoid clicking on unsolicited communications to prevent malware or ransomware threats.
- Report Intimidating Tactics: If you're coerced into paying a tax bill, threatened with arrest or deportation, or encounter an IRS impersonator scam, report it immediately at (800) 366-4484.
- Exercise Caution with Unclaimed Funds: Be wary of mailings claiming unclaimed refunds that request personal information. Scammers often use these tactics to steal identities.
- Manage Your Online Account Securely: Set up your own online account at irs.gov for accessing tax transcripts and payment history. Avoid allowing others to handle this task to prevent potential information theft.
- Beware of False Agencies: Ignore calls or emails from entities like the "Bureau of Tax Enforcement" threatening liens or levies on your assets. Such agencies do not exist.
- Use Accepted Payment Methods: The IRS accepts various forms of payment for taxes owed but never accepts payment in gift cards.
- Verify Caller Information: Scammers can manipulate caller IDs to appear legitimate. Remember, the IRS won't leave pre-recorded voicemails or threaten immediate law enforcement involvement.
For further details on tax scams, filing procedures, payment options, or refund assistance, visit irs.gov.