Your W-2 just arrived. Here’s how to keep from being a victim of (or used for) tax fraud

·2 min read

With Miami being a capital of two varieties of white collar crime, fraud and identity theft, it makes sense that the Miami office of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations released a list of tips to avoid tax fraud as tax filing season begins.

To these we’ll add: File your return as soon as possible. If someone else tries to use your identification information to file false returns, the red flags go up on them if you’ve already filed.

Man stole students’ info to file fake tax refunds but didn’t earn a dime, feds say

From the IRS:

Look for the tax preparers who are there even when it’s not tax filing season. Be wary of those who pop up on signs and storefronts around this time of year.

Get your tax preparer’s IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number. Your tax person is required to have one.

If someone won’t sign a tax return they prepare for you, forget them.

Discount promises of large refunds.

It might seem common sense, but don’t sign a blank tax return.

This isn’t a lawsuit and your tax preparer isn’t a lawyer with a trust account to hold your money. Any tax refund should come to you, not your tax preparer.

A Hialeah Gardens tax preparer had $773,600 cash at home. Was it from COVID-19 fraud?

Those calls from the IRS, saying there’s a warrant out for you and threatening your arrest if you don’t send them X amount of money immediately? Scammers. All of them. That’s not how the IRS works.

In the same vein, the IRS won’t text you, email you or reach out through social media. Don’t respond to those messages. The IRS warns that they might contain malware.

Don’t click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or texts about your tax return (don’t click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails in general).

Don’t send personal or financial information to anyone claiming to be from the IRS in unsolicited texts, emails or definitely not social media.

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