As we are amid tax season, our Senior Security Engineer Christian Foster shares some fraud tactics that are frequently being used in tax scams and tips on how you can protect yourself.
First, is a relatively new approach – The Canceled Social Security Number.
Alongside the uptick in robocalls is a scare campaign claiming that law enforcement will suspend or cancel someone’s Social Security Number in response to taxes owed. In reality, Social Security Number “suspension” does not exist. This is just an attempt by scammers to trick people out of giving up their personal information to reactivate their supposedly suspended SSNs.
Secondly, is the old classic – Impersonating the IRS.
We have all seen the emails, and many have gotten the phone calls. The enterprising criminals are taking this scam to new frontiers by expanding venues – including social media and texting. They are also adding new ways to “accept payment” such as prepaid cards and wire transfers. It is important to remember that the IRS never sends unsolicited emails.
Third, is another new tactic – The Bureau of Tax Enforcement.
To avoid some of the pitfalls around directly impersonating the IRS, a few creative scammers created a whole new branch, the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement.” What can I say except that this does not exist.
Don’t ignore the IRS, but know how to check for legitimacy and do so every time.
Finally, Ghost Tax Preparers.
Many individuals and businesses use services to do their taxes for them, since taxes can be complex and time consuming. These scams are pretty nasty since the criminals not only run away with the bill you paid, but they can also redirect your refund and lie on the form, optimizing their return while guaranteeing you an audit next year. Plus if they do not sign them as a preparer, you are on the hook for their misreporting.
Remember to ensure that your preparer has a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). These are issued by the IRS and get updated every year.
PayQuicker’s easy to use platform also offers tax services that can take your mind off of all the data gathering, paperwork and stress of filing taxes. We can automate your W9, W8BEN, T4 and 1099 processing with regulatory data for corporate forms and email delivery of 1099 to your payees saving you time and money.
Don’t let the stress and time of tax preparation burden you. Rest easy knowing that everything has been taken care of by PayQuicker.