Apr 12

Be Wary of Tax Return Scams, Pay Your Federal Income Taxes On Time and In Full

tax-return-prepCEDAR RAPIDS – Federal officials in Cedar Rapids are offering a public service announcement as this year’s tax season begins to wrap up.

With April 18th (the federal tax filing date) just around the corner, now is a good time to talk about careful and timely filing of tax returns.

I urge you to avoid dishonest federal tax-return preparers who defraud their customers and illegally drain the U.S. Treasury. Be wary of anyone who guarantees a refund or who claims to sell a sure-fire way to reduce your taxes. In 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identified more than 2.1 million of approximately 150 million returns claiming fraudulent refunds totaling more than $15.7 billion. Look for these red flags when choosing a return preparer:

  •   Your refund should never be deposited directly into a preparer’s bank account.
  •   Never sign a blank return or a blank form, or sign a return or a form without reading it first.
  •   Do not use a preparer who fabricates or mischaracterizes your business/personal expenses or deductions, or who claims bogus credits to which you are not entitled, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the child care credit, or the education credit.

    It is also paramount that you file your taxes on time and in full, not later than the April 18th deadline, to avoid potential penalties and processing delays. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for the contents of your own return; make sure to file a return both accurately and on time.

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