IRS Releases ‘Dirty Dozen' Tax Scams
by Marcus Washington
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Each year more people are falling victim to tax scams, leaving them in a tough and sometimes financially draining situation.
Friday the IRS released its list of tax scams they often call, "Dirty Dozen," which includes: Phishing, False Promises of Free Money from Inflated Refunds, Impersonation of charitable Organizations, Frivolous Arguments and Identity Theft.
"When I saw it I was like, OK what the heck," said Jana Wilkes as she explained the frustrating moment when she went to submit her 2013 taxes, only to find out someone already submitted using her social security number. "They actually went and filed early using one of the website and it was direct deposited. When I asked if they could do anything to stop it, they said ‘no.'"
Wilkes said not having the money that she was anticipating is especially difficult because her daughter was recently hospitalized.
"Right now her doctor bills, her medication and things like that are on standby until I am able to collect money to get and pay for all that," she said.
Wilkes is not alone; IRS spokesperson Dan Boone said, people filing taxes using stolen identities is the top issue they're experiencing this year. He said if this happens to you, the victim will need to contact the IRS' identity protection unit immediately, fill out an affidavit and send proof of your identity.
"What we will have to do at that point is sort out, who is the real owner of this name and social security number; and who is the rightful person that should get this refund," said Boone. "The IRS never initiates contact with tax payers using email, texting or any kind of social media. Generally if the IRS wants to contact you, we'll do it by mail."
Wilkes said she does not know how someone was able to get her social security number, but she is advising everyone to invest in a shredder. Also, if you lose or someone steals you purse or wallet, along with calling police, you should call the IRS so they can put an alert on your information.
To report IRS impersonators to the Treasury Inspector General, call 1-800-366-4484 or visit IRS.gov for more information.