Since Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone, now is a good time to complete your tax returns.
In light of the fact that many people are already preparing their returns, the IRS Criminal Investigation Unit in New Jersey has issued some basic tips to help citizens in the Garden State avoid becoming victims of tax fraud.
Choose your tax preparer prudently, advises Jefferey McDevitt, assistant special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Newark Field Office.
If you need tax help, find a preparer who isn’t only open for a short time in the year. He advised looking for a reliable tax preparer.
Be Wary of Suspicious Tax-related Emails.
He warned people to be wary of any tax-related correspondence they didn’t anticipate receiving.
Don’t reply to any messages that purport to be from the Internal Revenue Service and arrive via text, email, or social media. There’s a chance they’re infected with malware like viruses that can steal your sensitive data “His words.
“Do not respond to any text message from the IRS asking for personal information like your Social Security number.
Look for a tax preparer who is registered with the IRS and has a PTIN.
A bank account is credited with the reimbursement.
Don’t have your refund paid into the bank account of your preparer or anyone else.
Criminal Investigation Tips from the IRS to help you avoid tax season fraud:
- Carefully select a tax preparer. Find a preparer that can work with you all through the year.
- Get the preparer’s Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (PTIN).
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Everyone who is paid to prepare tax returns must have one.
- Don’t hire a ghost writer or editor. A tax return prepared by them will go unsigned.
- Don’t get taken in by tax preparers who guarantee big returns. Every citizen must pay their just tax share.
- Do not submit a blank tax return. The IRS ultimately holds taxpayers accountable for the accuracy of their tax returns.
To ensure a refund is sent to you.
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If you hired someone to do your taxes, they shouldn’t get your return check.
In no event will the IRS contact you by phone to threaten legal action. Get off the phone immediately if you get a call like this.
Don’t reply to any messages sent by text, email, or social media that claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service. They could be infected with malware and put your data at risk.
Avoid responding to or opening any attachments or links in suspicious tax-related messages you receive via email or text. These are fake communications.
Keep your money and personal details safe. Never respond to requests for personal information with information you haven’t initiated contact for.