A well-meaning friend suggests you visit her tax preparer, who promises to secure a big refund or help you qualify for a little-known tax credit. Or perhaps someone at church distributed a flyer advertising a company that offers to help you get free money from the IRS. Maybe you just saw posters tacked up around town, all promoting a new tax-prep company and hyping the big refunds they got for other clients.
Sometimes we set aside our better judgment when tempted with the lure of “free” money. Not so fast, warns the Internal Revenue Service. The agency has recently seen a lot of tax-related scam artists promising big refunds and access to little-known tax credits — all in exchange for a small up-front fee. You pay the fraudster, they submit a bogus income tax return on your behalf and then disappear before you realize it was all a con job.
The scam artists often convince community churches to help them promote their services. And the con men also realize that word-of-mouth makes for great marketing. The IRS says taxpayers in the Midwest and southern states have been particularly hard hit.
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Tax Law Updates
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