Beware: 'Tis the Season for Tax Scams!

Millions of Americans who are preparing their tax returns this spring have one desire in common - how can we reduce our taxes? Bankrate.com writer, Kay Bell, has compiled a summary of some of the more popular tax scams that attract the attention of taxpayers hoping to save money.

Here are some of the more popular ill-conceived methods of tax reduction that you should stay far away from:

  • The Social Security Refund - Some scam artists may try to convince you that for a small fee you can recoup all the money you have paid into the Social Security system. Guess again.
  • Get a Prize - Don't be fooled by offers of big prizes in store for those who are willing to pay the tax on the prizes up front.
  • IRS Agents at the Door - If someone appears at your door claiming to be an IRS agent willing to collect your tax in person, just close the door. This isn't how the IRS operates.
  • Taxation is Voluntary - Tax naysayers have been claiming for years that the voluntary tax system is just that - a system by which you don't have to pay taxes if you don't want to. Tax specialists will explain that the voluntary part is in your responsibility to prepare and mail your tax return. The paying part isn't voluntary - it is required by law.
  • Employers Don't Have to Withhold Taxes - If you are an employee, your employer is required to withhold payroll taxes and turn that money over to the government on your behalf. Period.
  • Tax Credits for Slavery Victims - Many a scam artist has tried to take advantage of descendants of slaves by offering to file a claim for a special tax refund that is available for slavery victims. There is no such refund or tax credit available.

The bottom line is, like it or not, we all have to pay our share of the income tax. If you are convinced your tax is too high, seek the aid of a professional tax preparer who can help unearth all the (legal) deductions and tax credits to which you are entitled.

View more tax tips!

You may like these other stories...

As anyone who's ever been through a divorce can attest, the pain of parting with your spouse isn't just emotional—the fallout from divorce can wreak financial havoc as well long after the dust in the courtroom...
Former DOJ Tax Division head Kathryn Keneally joining DLA Piper in New YorkGlobal law firm DLA Piper announced on Thursday that Kathryn Keneally, the former head of the US Justice Department Tax Division, is joining the firm...
OECD calls for coordinated fight against corporate tax avoidanceDavid Jolly of the New York Times reported that dozens of countries with the most advanced economies have agreed on principles for concrete action to prevent...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 21
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.