Eighth in a series.
The most common crime in recent years has been filing someone else’s taxes to get their return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
“The big thing that we’re seeing this year and the last three years is identity theft morphing into return fraud,” said IRS agent Brian Watson. “Basically tax returns being prepared by criminals with other people’s information.”
However, it’s not the only crime people need to watch out for.
Another common issue is untruthful returns being filed by tax preparers. This can happen when a tax preparer bases his or her fee off the tax refund and not a flat fee.
Then, there is Internet phishing to get tax information.
The proper step in any tax crime is simple, call the police.
“Call your local police department and file a police report,” Watson said. “It’s sad when you hear about this stuff. And it’s like people who fall for those Nigerian scams; they don’t have to get everybody, they just have to get lucky every now and then.”
Check back next week for the final installment of the series. On tax day, IRS spokesman Bill Brunson will speak about how to file an extension or fix an error.