Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Attorney general warns of IRS scams during tax season

Attorney general warns of IRS scams during tax season Attorney general warns of IRS scams during tax season
Nellie Chapman | 18 February, 2018, 22:38

There are several versions of the scam, but they all boil down to the same thing: Scammers gain access to sensitive consumer data, such as social security numbers, bank account information and more, and use it to file false tax documents.

The taxpayer can be harassed, threatened with an arrest warrant, or even "blacklisted" until he or she hand over the money the thieves have worked so hard to get.

Then instruct them return the refund to the IRS.

A number of people have reported receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS, threatening lawsuits or arrest if they fail to pay alleged debts.

To avoid being scammed, the IRS encouraged taxpayers to follow their bank accounts closely and if an erroneous refund is deposited to contact tax professionals immediately.

You also can fund an individual retirement account for 2017 before the filing deadline, which falls on April 17 this year.

The ideal, if the refund was direct-deposited to your bank, is to have your bank's automated clearinghouse department send the funds back to the IRS - after you call the agency on its toll-free number (800-829-1040 for individuals or 800-829-4933 for businesses) to let them know why the money is coming back. Victims who do not file electronically should include an Identity Theft Affidavit, which is form 14039, with their paper return, saying that their identity was stolen due to a breach of their tax preparer's records. The victim was asked to pay taxes on the "prize", and the victim sent cash. Know that by law, you are responsible for interest that accrues on erroneous refunds.

That has led some to wonder whether the crooks may have been aided by dishonest IRS insiders. "There is absolutely no indication this information originated from ‎IRS data or systems", the agency said in a prepared statement.

How did returns get processed so rapidly?

The US' Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has warned about a new scam involving the deposit of erroneous tax refunds into real taxpayer bank accounts. Most of the taxpayers being targeted in this scam likely had their client data stolen from tax professionals earlier this tax season.

"That seems impossible unless this is an inside job", he said. It is especially recommended if filers expect to receive a tax refund.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is warning residents about scams from people impersonating IRS agents during this tax season.