Be Aware! Tax Information Phone Scams have increased.

Hello Nation,

The IRS has indicated that the number of phone scams trying to get at your personal tax information has increased.  Scammers are calling taxpayers on the phone and indicating that they are IRS employees needing to verify your personal information.  The scammers seek to have you confirm the personal information they already have and get you to supply other personal information, the information they need, to do you significant damage.   The IRS again indicates that they do NOT call individuals for that type of information.  

The caller who already has some of your personal information aims to catch you off guard and have you supply additional information, e.g. your Social Security number or even your financial account numbers.  Should you get such a phone call, and if you are concerned that the IRS may actually need some information, e.g. a new address, because let's say you just moved - you should thank the caller or simply hang up and contact the IRS at the official IRS phone contact number.  Never give out your personal information to someone who you did not call, and do NOT call the number that the caller supplies.  

Scammers can use your personal information to file "fake" tax returns in your name, claiming your refunds.  Getting your return in as early as possible will reduce the possibility that someone who has gotten hold of your personal information can file a tax return in your name and receive your tax refund.   This environment makes a good case for actually having a balance due with the IRS at year end, rather than be in refund status.  Of course this is a delicate balancing act, since if you have too large a balance due, you will be penalized for not having paid your taxes on time, because we have a "pay as you earn" tax system, but that may be a smaller price to pay than someone taking off with your big fat tax refund.  Talk with your tax advisor. 

The IRS has created some information to make taxpayers aware of these scams, and help them protect their personal information.   See this video.

We all have busy lives, and you may be working on your taxes right now, just remember if you should get that call, it is not the IRS calling.  Be Aware! Don't get caught off guard.    

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