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Tax Audit Lottery: Check If You’re the Lucky Winner!


How to avoid ‘ghost preparers’ and other tax scams as the April 15 federal filing deadline approaches


With the April 15 tax deadline approaching, be vigilant against tax scams targeting your personal and financial information.

Last year, the IRS saw a surge in identity theft reports, with over $5.5 billion in tax fraud identified.

Scammers often use emails, texts, or phone calls to entice you with promises of tax savings or larger refunds.

Beware of these approaches, as the IRS does not initiate contact this way.

Common tax scams include: * **Phishing emails or messages:** These requests ask for personal information under the guise of assessing tax savings or processing your return.

Avoid providing such information.

* **Fraudulent phone calls:** Scammers may pose as IRS or other financial entities and ask for sensitive data that can lead to identity theft.

* **Ghost tax preparers:** These individuals prepare your return but fail to sign it or provide their own information.

This allows them to capture your personal details and potentially file fraudulent returns in your name.

Protect yourself by following these tips: * File your return electronically or mail it directly from a post office.

* Set up your IRS account independently through IRS.gov.

* Avoid using bogus tax preparers.

Verify their tax ID number on the IRS website.

If you suspect a tax scam, report it immediately to the proper authorities.

The IRS advises reporting suspicious emails to phishing@irs.gov and suspicious calls to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration hotline.

Victims of identity theft can refer to identifytheft.gov for guidance.

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    “- Last year, the IRS received 294,138 complaints of reported identity theft, the second most in its history — and the agency’s criminal investigation agents identified more than $5.5 billion in tax fraud.”

    “- Taxpayers who have yet to submit their return or tax payment need to take precautions, fraud experts say.”

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