IRS OFFERS TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID TAX SCAMS
LOS ANGELES -- It's the number-crunching season, and for many, that means a giant headache but for Jacqueline Munroe, it means fighting to regain a piece of her life back because she's a victim of identity theft.
Most recently when filing her tax return, Munroe was told someone had already done it under her name. So, she's now having to prove to the IRS that she is who she says she is.
"It's been hard. I haven't gotten my tax returns, and it's so crazy that I have to prove to be me," she shared.
Anabel Marquez with the IRS said anyone can fall victim to a tax scam.
"It can be somebody that is not very aware of tax laws, as much as it can be somebody who is a professional," Marquez said.
As a result, the IRS released its 2017 "dirty dozen" tax scams list.
"At the top of the list are phishing: when you get an email claiming to be the IRS. The second one is an ongoing telephone scam. The third one is identity theft, and the fourth is return preparer fraud. Again, it's a list of 12 scams but those are the top four," Marquez shared.
The list also includes improper tax claims for both individuals and businesses, just to name a few. Marquez said you should also look out for red flags when searching for a tax preparer.
She added that the IRS will not call before sending out a letter, and they do not require a specific method of payment.
"Most importantly, we don't require the person pay the IRS without an opportunity to appeal the amount that the agency says they owe," said Marquez.
If you feel you've been a victim of an email scam, you can report it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or report a phone scam at 800-366-4484.