Taxpayers are not the only ones who fall victim to scams by criminals during tax season. Professionals who prepare taxes can also be made victims of scams which target them for money. For this reason tax professionals need to be educated about the most common scams aimed toward them. Below is a list of the three most common scams targeted at tax professionals.
(1) Tax Preparer Phishing Scam
Phishing scams are scams in which the victim is goaded into providing sensitive personal and financial information through email. This information is then used by the perpetrator to rob the victim. One example of this method is an email asking tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and their EFINS. The links provided in the email are designed to capture the tax preparer’s username and password, which can then be used by the criminal to steal sensitive information for financial gain.
(2) Identity Theft
Identity theft for tax purposes involves individuals using a stolen Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax return in order to receive a refund. Tax professionals should be aware of this scam and ask for all necessary documentation in order for a client to prove their identity when filing tax information for a refund.
(3) Hiding Offshore Income
Some taxpayers use offshore accounts to hide money from the IRS. A tax professional should be aware of all income earned by the individual they are working with in order to avoid any potential liability in helping the taxpayer prepare their taxes.
Don’t become a victim of tax fraud.
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