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Knowledge & Insights

Common Tax Scams to Avoid


Tax season is a time when scammers are on the prowl, attempting to steal money, personal information, and data from unsuspecting individuals. However, it’s important to note that tax scams are not limited to a specific period; they persist throughout the year. To protect themselves and their clients, both taxpayers and tax professionals must stay vigilant and well-informed about the common scams, schemes, and cons that could lead to financial loss and identity theft.

Social Media Tax Scams Unveiled: Don’t Fall for Bad Advice

In this digital age, social media platforms have become breeding grounds for misinformation and fraudulent activities, even in the realm of taxes. Scammers take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers by circulating inaccurate or misleading tax information. Some even promote the submission of false or inaccurate details in the hopes of obtaining refunds or credits. Taxpayers should exercise caution and remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Relying on credible sources and consulting reputable tax professionals is crucial to avoiding falling victim to such scams.

Beware of Third-Party Scammers: Safeguard Your Online Tax Account

Beware of scammers masquerading as helpful third parties offering assistance in creating an IRS Online Account. Their ulterior motive is to steal personal information for nefarious purposes. To safeguard against such scams, taxpayers should always access their accounts directly through the official IRS website ( and avoid engaging with suspicious links or unfamiliar platforms. Taking this precautionary measure ensures that sensitive information remains secure and protected from potential identity theft.

Phishing and Spearphishing: Don’t Get Hooked by Tax Scammers

While the majority of tax preparers provide excellent service, there are unscrupulous individuals in the industry who exploit unsuspecting taxpayers. It is crucial to be aware of warning signs such as charging fees based on the refund’s size and refusing to sign the tax return. Taxpayers should be cautious of “ghost” preparers who prepare returns but avoid signing or providing their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number, a legal requirement. Never sign a blank or incomplete return, as this could lead to fraudulent activities or other financial complications.

Offer in Compromise Mills: Avoid Costly Scams

The IRS has designed offers in compromise as a legitimate program to assist individuals who cannot pay their federal tax debts. However, some unscrupulous entities known as “offer in compromise mills” take advantage of this program by aggressively promoting it to individuals who do not qualify. These misleading practices often result in substantial costs for taxpayers. To determine eligibility for an offer in compromise, taxpayers can use the IRS Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool free of charge. Avoiding unauthorized entities and seeking professional guidance is essential to navigating this program safely.

Staying informed about common tax scams and how to report them to the IRS is crucial for both taxpayers and tax professionals. By remaining vigilant, consulting reliable sources, and being cautious.

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