Special Agent in Charge for IRS Criminal Investigations for the IRS Denver Field Office Andy Tsui spoke to KGVO News this week on how to spot and avoid income tax fraud and scams.

“There are really two things to talk about here that affect most everyone in some way in filing your tax returns,” began Agent Tsui. “We always advise to do your research and select a reputable tax preparer. Some suggestions I have would be that making sure that the tax preparer goes over the tax return with you in detail, and also to explain the fees that are being charged in addition to the refund amount so that you know what you're going to get and then match it up to what you actually receive.”

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Tsui said those involved in tax fraud schemes will use every trick in the book to engage their victims.

“We do see an uptick in IRS related scams during filing season because the general public is interacting with the IRS in some degree,” he said. “And, it might be a little easier for the fraudsters to get something through there in that time so we do see an uptick in IRS impersonation type scams and other things related to either obtaining your personal information for identity theft purposes, or to try to intercept a tax refund or some kind of direct tax related fraud.”

Tsui said the IRS never uses social media or a threatening phone call to contact a taxpayer.

“If you're seeing something online or even on social media before you take an actual step forward in providing information or even paying for something,  just take a step back and make sure you do your due diligence or some kind of research to make sure it's not a scam,” he said. “I think when people act really quickly on something and without doing some research they're more susceptible to fraud.”

Tsui added more advice to help taxpayers avoid being defrauded.

“One of the easiest ones to spot is some communication demanding payments and someone representing themselves to be from the IRS and then threatening either arrest or lawsuit,” he said. “That is not a tactic used by the IRS and that is definitely a scam. The IRS only interacts in very professional ways and it is never a surprise to someone that they are working with the IRS. In addition, the IRS actually never demands payment, especially in forms of like gift cards or wire transfers or other mechanisms.”

Get more details by visiting denverfieldoffice@ci.irs.gov

For more tips on choosing a tax professional or how to file a complaint against one, visit IRS.gov.

At the bottom of the page there is the header “Resolve an issue” with links that may also be helpful. Taxpayers who suspect tax violations by a person or business, may report it to the IRS using Form 3949A, Information Referral. Taxpayers can also report phishing emails to phishing@irs.gov or IRS impersonation scams to TIGTA.gov.

 

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