7 On Your Side offers tips on avoiding tax scams

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This time of year, there's plenty of fraud going around during tax season, so here are some tax tips on how to avoid scams. (KGO-TV)

This time of year, there's plenty of fraud going around during tax season, so here are some tax tips on how to avoid scams.

You work hard for your money and if you're owed a refund from the IRS, you want to make sure you get it. Don't let scammers take your money.

The IRS does have software to find suspicious returns, catching more than one million back in 2013 totaling $8 billion. And, don't forget, you have "three" extra days to file this year with the deadline being Monday, April 18.

Sadly, tax season has become scam season for millions of Americans, with phishing phone calls becoming more common.

The first big tip in sniffing out a scam, remember the IRS does not email or call you. "If you've been audited, you're going to get a letter in the mail. So, anybody who calls you like this, it is a scam" Stephanie Zimmerman said.

Immediately report the call to the IRS because the government is cracking down, convicting thousands of people just last year.

Another big and extremely costly scam is stolen refunds. Identity thieves are ripping off taxpayers to the tune of billions of dollars every year by acquiring social security numbers, then filing returns and stealing refunds. "People don't realize they're a victim until they file their own return and the IRS says, we already have one for you.," Zimmerman said.

To protect yourself , you can call the IRS and get a pin so that only you have access to file your return.

If it's already too late, go to IRS.gov and fill out an identity theft affidavit and get a police report for additional proof.

You'll still get your refund, it's just going to take several months and a lot of paperwork.

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Related Topics:
finance7 On Your SidetaxesIRSconsumer concernsfraud
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