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Tax Season Scams and Fraud

With tax season in full swing, taxpayers organizing their information and getting ready to file their returns, we want to provide some important protective reminders to ensure that nobody falls victim to common tax season scams and fraudulent activities.

Does the IRS send text messages or emails?

No. The IRS does not send texts or emails. If you receive a text or email that claims to be from the IRS, it is fraudulent or a scam. Do not respond to any of the contact information in the message. The IRS corresponds with letters that are sent by regular mail.

Top Scam for 2023

Imposters, including IRS Imposters. The Federal Trade Commission published a graph of the different types of scams reported in 2023. The FTC also wrote “Imposter scams remained the top fraud category, with reported losses of $2.7 billion. These scams include people pretending to be your bank’s fraud department, the government, a relative in distress, a well-known business, or a technical support expert.” Be wary of anyone calling, texting, emailing or reaching out through direct messages on social media platforms claiming to be a representative from the IRS. The IRS corresponds by mail.

If you receive a text or email that claims to be from the IRS, it is fraudulent or a scam. The IRS does NOT text or email.

Report Tax Season Scams and Fraud to the IRS

Any taxpayer who receives unsolicited email or contacted via social media from someone claiming to be from the IRS or an organization affiliated with the IRS should forward the message to phishing@irs.gov. For other methods to report tax-related illegal activities, refer to Tax Scams – How to Report Them. You should also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.

Is it safe to e-file your taxes?

Yes. With the hype surrounding tax season scams, an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal on February 5, 2024, and republished on other platforms, stated it was more secure to file a paper tax return. The IRS reports that the IRS e-file system meets strict guidelines and uses the best encryption technology. The IRS has safely and securely processed more than 1.2 billion e-filed individual tax returns since the program began. In addition, taxpayers who e-file and are due a refund, get their refunds faster compared to those who paper file.

Ongoing Due Diligence

Throughout tax season, the IRS will continue to provide updates to apprise taxpayers about scams and fraud. As these are released, we will update you accordingly.

Meanwhile, should you receive a suspicious message, email, phone call or other type of communication that seems suspicious regarding your tax returns or from the IRS, please call 215.675.8364 or email us to speak with your CPA today.

DISCLAIMER: The WM Update, WM Wednesday Wisdom, WM Daily Update, and other related communications are intended to provide general information, as of the date of this communication, and may reference information from reputable sources. Although our firm has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided. As legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that may modify some of the provisions in this communication. Some of those modifications may be significant. As such, be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed.