fall victim to a tax scam
While scams come in all
varieties, they generally have two common features: The basic foundation
is an emotional appeal coupled with a promise of easy money. And tax
scams are no different.
One such scam tied to
Social Security taxes specifically targets seniors. In this scam,
victims are promised a refund on the Social Security taxes that they
have paid during their lifetime. But in order to qualify, the phony tax
preparer tells the victim to pay an up-front paperwork fee. In reality,
there is no refund. This is nothing more than a hoax to soak victims for
the up-front fee.
A couple of basic rules
apply when it comes to paying taxes. First, there’s a very good chance
that anyone who promises you a bigger refund without knowing your tax
situation could be misleading you. And second, never sign a tax return
without looking it over to make sure it’s correct and honest. The IRS
also warns about anyone who identifies himself as an IRS agent and comes
to your home to collect. IRS agents, field auditors and collection
officers carry photo identification and usually try to contact you
before coming to your home. If you have any doubts about a person who
comes to your home, lock your door and contact law enforcement.
Each year, the IRS,
Better Business Bureau and tax preparers warn residents about common tax
scams that make the rounds during the tax filing season. Here are three
scams to look out for:
the Tax, Then Get the Prize
The caller says that you
have won a prize and all you have to do to collect it is to pay the
income tax that’s due. If you really win a prize, you may be required
to make an estimated tax payment to cover the taxes that will be due at
the end of the year. However, the payment will go to the IRS, not the
person calling to tell you that you’ve won the prize.
Yourself for $49.95
This scam seemingly has
been around forever. The pitch may be that paying taxes is voluntary,
which of course is not the case. Buy one of these bogus untax packages
and you’ve bought yourself a ton of problems that could result in
civil and criminal tax penalties being assessed.
Get You a Big Refund....For A Fee
Operators of this scam may approach you
wanting to borrow your Social Security number. They may even offer to
split the refund with you. Don’t fall for it. This is nothing more
than a scam that can wind up costing you dearly in the end.
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