March 16, 2012
The IRS has provided nine useful tips to help taxpayers avoid an emerging tax scheme. This new scam tempts senior citizens and other taxpayers to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds. These schemes promise refunds to people who have little or no income and normally don’t have a tax filing requirement.
Promoters claim that they can obtain a tax refund or nonexistent stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit—even if the victim was not enrolled in or paying for college. A variation of this scheme claims the college credit is available to compensate people for paying taxes on groceries.
These schemes can be quite costly for victims. Promoters may charge exorbitant upfront fees to file claims, and they often disappear once a victim discovers that they have been scammed. The following are seven informative tips to help you identify and avoid such activity. Taxpayers should look for:
To get the real facts on education-related tax benefits, visit the “Tax Benefits for Education Information Center” on the IRS.gov website.
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Unfortunately, cyber scammers never take a vacation. In fact, the IRS has issued a warning of a surge in fraudulent emails that bait potential phishing victims with fake tax transcripts. Links within these emails lead recipients to documents containing the well-known malware, Emotet.
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