Post on Your Office Wall: IRS warns taxpayers to be alert to unscrupulous tax return preparers boasting of inflated tax refunds

NSTPFraudulent Tax Refunds, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Post on Your Office Wall : IRS Warns Taxpayers of Inflated Tax Refunds

IRS: Be on the lookout for promises of inflated tax refunds Taxpayers are warned to be alert to unscrupulous tax return preparers boasting of inflated tax refunds, a common scam tactic during filing season. Return preparers promising larger refunds than competitors or providing refunds substantially larger than taxpayers have routinely seen could be a warning sign. Con artists promising overly large refunds frequently prey on older Americans and low-income taxpayers and those who don’t have a filing requirement. They may also victimize non-English speakers who may or may not have a requirement to file a tax return. Scam artists can use flyers, advertisements, phony storefronts or word-of-mouth to attract victims. They may even make presentations through community groups or churches. These unscrupulous individuals may dupe others into making claims for fictitious rebates, benefits or tax credits. They may also file a false return in their client’s name, and the client never knows that a refund was paid. Cons may also target those with a filing requirement who are due a tax refund. This may be done by promising larger refunds based on fake Social Security benefits and false claims for education credits or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), among … Read More

TAX PROFESSIONALS WARNED OF VARIOUS SCAMS; URGED TO BE WARY OF SCHEMES AS FILING SEASON DEADLINE APPROACHES

NSTPFraud, Fraudulent Tax Refunds, Hackers, Identity Theft, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Online Scams, Phishing, Security

TAX PROFESSIONALS WARNED OF VARIOUS SCAMS; URGED TO BE WARY OF SCHEMES AS FILING SEASON DEADLINE APPROACHES In what is becoming a repetitive theme the Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry are again warning tax professionals to beware of phishing email scams claiming to be from IRS e-Services and of schemes in general as we approach the April 18 deadline. Do not become a victim of these scams that are inundating the tax professional community. If you receive an email and you are uncertain of the validity then do not respond! Open your browser and go directly to the website for your software vendor, or bank, or credit card company or the IRS to request clarification if necessary. Under the leadership of the Security Summit; the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry warned that this time of year is the high season for identity thieves scams to steal sensitive data from tax professionals. All tax preparers and their employees must be on guard against phishing activities. The IRS noted a particular surge in the past 24 hours related to a phishing email scam that seeks to steal practitioners’ usernames and passwords for IRS e-Services. … Read More

Tax-Refund Delays Seen Hitting Low-Income Households

NSTPCongress, Earned Income Tax Credit, Fraud, Fraudulent Tax Refunds, Identity Theft, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act), Tax Refund

Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 includes a buried provision that will delay refunds for taxpayers filing EITC returns in 2017 with the filing of the 2016 returns.  The legislation updates §6402(m) and provides that effective for credits or refunds made after December 31, 2016 no credit or refund for an over-payment for a tax year will be made to a taxpayer before the 15th day of the second month following the close of the tax year (February 15) if the taxpayer claimed the EITC on the tax return. The following article appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal : Tax-Refund Delays Seen Hitting Low-Income Households The U.S. government’s attempts to prevent tax fraud will force millions of low-income households to wait weeks longer than usual next year to get tax refunds they depend on. A new law requires the Internal Revenue Service to wait until Feb. 15 to send refunds to households receiving the earned-income tax credit and child tax credit. By Feb. 12 this year, the IRS had already sent 29.2 million refunds totaling $94 billion. It isn’t yet clear how many refunds would be delayed. The provision—part of a bipartisan tax-cut deal struck in December … Read More

THE IRS TO STOP INITIATING AUDITS BY TELEPHONE

NSTPFraud, Fraudulent Tax Refunds, Identity Theft, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Internal Revenue Service plans to stop notifying taxpayers by telephone when they are subject to an in-person field examination, in an effort to avoid confusion with phone scammers. Instead, all such notifications will come by mail. The policy shift follows reports in Tax Analysts’ Tax Notes Today that attendees of a public forum held last week by the Taxpayer Advocate Service complained that they had received phone calls from IRS employees trying to set up audits. The comments caught Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, by surprise and she responded that she was not aware of audits being initiated by phone. Later, she said that she was told that the Internal Revenue Manual did instruct revenue agents that the preferred method for initiating taxpayer contact for audit was by phone. Those claims contradict repeated pledges by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s to taxpayers that the IRS never calls first. The IRS added that the vast majority of its initial audit contacts are handled by sending a letter first, but in some of the in-person field audits, the IRS may contact the taxpayer or their representative by phone to schedule an appointment to begin the audit. “This phone contact is followed up … Read More

Identity Thieves Receive Over $10 Million In Fraudulent Tax Refunds

NSTPFraudulent Tax Refunds, Identity Theft

Doherty Kushimo, 52, of Providence, R.I., Saburi Adeyemi, 56, of Memphis, Tenn., Abiodun Bakre, 49, Ozone Park, N.Y., Adetunji Gbadegeshi, 57, of Queens, N.Y., and Adebola Mejule, 54, of Hempstead, N.Y. have been charged by a federal grand jury in Erie, PA, on a 13-count indictment of filing fraudulent tax returns and receiving approximately $10 million in fraudulent tax refunds. The defendants obtained the information from the internet which was used to file fraudulent tax returns and then traded the information among themselves. The defendants then opened bank accounts in which to deposit the tax “refunds” Funds were then reportedly funneled to Nigeria. “We are making significant progress in our efforts to uncover identity fraud and protect citizens from criminals who steal their personal information and steal their money,” U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said in a statement on April 23rd announcing the charges. “We have dismantled a massive stolen identity ring that involved thousands of victims and tens of millions of dollars in losses.” Both the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI were involved in the investigation and subsequent arrests in this case. “The use of the Internet for criminal purposes is one of the most critical challenges facing … Read More