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What Taxpayers Need to Know about Scams

Warning sign of Taxes Ahead
Creative Commons
Warning sign of Taxes Ahead

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

KSFR reporter Mary Lou Cooper talked with Charlotte Dennis, public affairs officer with the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation arm, to find out what taxpayers need to know about scams.

In FYI 2023, Criminal Investigation identified $5.5 billion in tax fraud plus another $31 billion in other financial crimes such as money laundering, public corruption, narcotics trafficking and more.

Dennis highlighted two recent New Mexico cases where a fraudulent tax preparer and a pension advisor scammed their unknowing clients.

One bright red flag that something is amiss is a tax preparer who has refunds sent to their own accounts rather than yours. Another red flag is a commercial tax preparer who closes up shop immediately after tax season ends.

Dennis referred listeners to an IRS web site that each year catalogs a Dirty Dozen list of tax scams. These scams include: tax credits that clients aren’t entitled to such as Employee Retention Credit claims or false fuel tax credits; impersonation of legitimate organizations including government to lure victims into revealing valuable personal and financial information; swindlers purporting to help taxpayers set up on-line IRS tax accounts; and fake charities seeking donations after disasters.

If you have been scammed or think you have been scammed, the IRS asks you to file form 3949-a.  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3949a.pdf

For the complete list of the latest Dirty Dozen tax scams, go to:

Mary Lou Cooper reports on consumer issues for KSFR as well as on politics and elder affairs. She has worked for the U.S. Congress as well as for the Nevada and Tennessee legislatures, and remains a political junkie. She worked many years for an association of Western state legislatures and was a contributor to “Capitol Ideas,” a national magazine about state government. In 2016 Cooper received a public service award from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association for her KSFR story on Internet romance scams. She has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and from the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Texas Austin. She also holds fiction and screenwriting certificates from the University of Washington.