Scammers claim to be tax preparers, promise large refunds

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(Image Source: MGN)(KALB)
Published: Mar. 28, 2018 at 11:29 AM EDT
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Don’t let the promise of a large tax refund cloud your judgement.

That advice is from the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR). They're partnering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to share “IRS Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2018.

Inflated refund claims are touted by scam artists claiming to be legitimate tax preparers to encourage unsuspecting victims to file taxes using their services.

These scammers use flyers, advertisements, phony storefronts and presentations to lure victims by promising large tax refunds.

“Scammers often target individuals who are not required to file, such as those with low income or seniors. They use deceiving practices to trick individuals into making claims for fake rebates, benefits or tax credits only to reap the benefits for themselves,” said DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp.

In addition, these con artists target individuals who are due a state and/or federal tax refund by promising a larger refund based on fake Social Security benefits and false claims for education credits or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Once they have a customer’s information, they file a false return in the customer’s name and keep the refund.

To ensure a tax preparer is reputable, customers should review DOR’s tips for selecting a tax preparer in the “Dirty Dozen” news release "Don’t Let Deceitful Tax Preparers Get You in Hot Water" at

“One of the biggest clues customers should always keep in mind is that an honest tax preparer will provide their customers with a copy of the tax return they’ve prepared,” said Krupp.

Another way inflated refunds are claimed is through filing of phony W-2 or 1099 forms. These self-prepared or “corrected” forms report taxable income as zero, leading to large refunds.

It is illegal to submit any falsified forms or attempt to submit a statement refuting wages and taxes reported by a third-party to the IRS. These false claims often result in perpetrators of this scam receiving significant penalties, imprisonment or both for tax dodging.

To view the first five “IRS Dirty Dozen” tax scams of 2018, visit