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IRS Tax Scams to Watch Out for in 2017 - Part 2




We talked about three of the most common IRS tax scams in Part 1 of this series on IRS Tax Scams to Watch Out for in 2017. Here we look at more such tax scams which wreaked havoc on ordinary citizens.
#1: Tax Preparer Scam / Obamacare Scam
One of the anomalies in US tax laws is that anyone can claim to be a tax prepare. There is no qualification needed to be a tax preparer. Luckily though most people who offer to do your taxes are qualified accountants and CPAs and they try to do their best. However, there are some frauds that get into this business.
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamcacare, for example, makes it mandatory for people to get health insurance. Those who don’t apply for this can get penalized. But most people who don’t qualify for Obamacare get exemptions so that they don’t need to pay the penalty.
 The only issue with this is that there is a new tax scam where some tax preparers are telling their clients that they own the government a penalty on Obamacare and have to pay the amount in cash to them, otherwise it is not possible to file their tax returns. Remember  - even if you owe any money to the IRS, that should be paid to the IRS by check. Never to the tax preparer with cash!
 #2: Snail Mail Scam
The snail mail scam is similar to the Obamacare scam discussed earlier. Here you will get a tax bill – completely fake – that says that you owe a penalty to the government for not possessing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. This looks like a legit communication from IRS, but it is not that.
The IRS says that scammers from across the nation are sending fraudulent versions of CP2000 notices. These are letters that inform taxpayers stating discrepancies related to their tax return.
Since this scam happens through snail mail, it is very difficult to detect, and can fool a lot of people. Here’s how you can spot it. The fraudulent snail mail is issued from “Austin, Texas” and relates to the Affordable Care Act. It lists the payment voucher as 105C and wants the check to be made out to the I.R.S. and delivered to “Austin Processing Center”.
#3: IRS iTunes scam
This is a recent scam in which someone claiming to be from the IRS duped a young college student into putting hundreds of dollars into different iTunes cards for wrongly representing her tax returns. iTunes gift cards are untraceable and scammers can get the cash easily, which is why they are preferred in tax scams such as these.
 #4: Tax-Refund Fraud
A lot of scammers have been stealing people’s Social Security numbers and filing false claims for refunds based on such identities. This is also called as identity theft. So when you file your tax return legitimately, it is rejected by the IRS as someone has already filed a return in your name! This is a really common scam and you can only pray that it does not happen to you as it creates a messy situation for everyone.
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