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Staying Away From Tax Scams

Audio version available here:

Length: approx. 1 min. 40 sec.


Tax year 2023 filing is in full swing, and there are numerous scammers ready to take advantage of your stress in this time. Here are a few tax scams that you should identify and avoid this tax season.


Fake messaging in the form of phishing or smishing are common tax scams targeting taxpayers. Phishing schemes consist of emails claiming to be the IRS threatening legal action against you or sharing a link to fix a nonexistent problem. Smishing is a similar practice in text message form. If you receive such an email or text, do not open any links or respond to the sender.


Another scam you could encounter is false help to set up your IRS Online Account. In the process of “helping”, your taxpayer information—address, Social Security Number, photo identification—is stolen and can be used by the scammer or sold to other third parties. Remember that the only place to set up an IRS Online Account is IRS.gov.


Fraudulent ERC claims are another scam to watch out for. Businesses may be lured to make an Employee Retention Credit claim they are not qualified for. This can lead to severe penalties and even criminal prosecution. With so much confusion and scams surrounding the ERC, watch our YouTube series on protecting yourself.


Finally, you should be aware of and avoid “improper Fuel Tax Credit claims”. Like the ERC, promoters are pushing ineligible taxpayers to claim this tax credit while charging “inflated fees”. If you make a false claim, there is a risk for “future compliance action by the IRS”.


The IRS encourages individuals to report any “abusive tax practices” they encounter. Fill out Form 14242 and provide any other helpful materials to the IRS. If you have been a victim of a tax scam and need guidance for getting back on the right track, reach out to XQ CPA’s tax professionals. We would love to help you.


Phone: 832-295-3353


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Sources:


dark screen with green binary code, magnifying glass hovers over bold text "fraud"

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