Stay vigilant this tax season: How to spot impersonation scams and phony tax preparers

Here’s 3 tips to help you avoid being scammed this tax season

The 2024 tax season officially begins January 29. (N/A, 2024)

SAN ANTONIO – The 2024 tax-filing season officially starts January 29, and just as expected, scam artists are waiting to ambush their next victims. Filing taxes may be unavoidable but knowing the signs of a tax scam will help protect you against becoming their next target.

The IRS has released a complete list of their Dirty Dozen tax scams to watch out for.

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As you get ready to file your taxes, here are two of the most common:

Impersonation scams aim to pressure you into acting immediately. Scammers will usually create fear and a heightened sense of urgency through unsolicited texts, phone calls or emails threatening legal action or serious consequences.

Another imitation game that scammers like to play is pretending to be a tax preparer. Anyone can identify themselves as a tax preparer, but proving they have the right credentials can set them apart from scammers. By law, tax preparers must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and you can check it online.

Helpful tips:

TIP #1: An IRS notice regarding a bill or tax refund will always be mailed to the filer directly and the IRS will not demand that taxpayers pay through electronic payments or transfers by means of gift cards, mobile payment, or cryptocurrency.

TIP #2: Know who you’re working with. Check with the IRS’s Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers, find a licensed CPA (find a CPA in your state) or look for an Enrolled Agent.

TIP #3: Stop your tax-return money from falling into the wrong hands, consider having your tax-refund check received by direct deposit.

Learn more about the IRS’s Dirty Dozen and how to report if you’ve been scammed.

Have you been scammed:

About the Author

Stephanie Leonard is the Special Events Coordinator for KSAT Community. She enjoys writing and producing video and digital content.

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