Are you thinking about taxes while you’re enjoying the warm summer months? Not likely! But the IRS wants you to know that scammers ARE thinking about taxes and ways to dupe you out of your money.
Tax scams can happen anytime of the year, not just during tax season. Three common year-round scams are identity theft, phishing and return preparer fraud. These schemes are on the top of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” list of scams this year. They’re illegal and can lead to significant penalties and interest, even criminal prosecution.
Here’s more information about these scams that every taxpayer should know.
1. Identity Theft. Tax fraud by identity theft tops this year’s Dirty Dozen list. Identity thieves use personal information, such as your name, Social Security number or other identifying information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. An identity thief may also use another person’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.
The IRS has a special identity protection page on IRS.gov dedicated to identity theft issues. It has helpful links to information, such as how victims can contact the IRS Identity Theft Protection Specialized Unit, and how you can protect yourself against identity theft.
2. Phishing. Scam artists use phishing to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal or financial information. Phishing scammers may pose as the IRS and send bogus emails, set up phony websites or make phone calls. These contacts usually offer a fictitious refund or threaten an audit or investigation to lure victims into revealing personal information. Phishers then use the information they obtain to steal the victim’s identity, access their bank accounts and credit cards or apply for loans. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. Please forward suspicious scams to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also “Reporting Phishing” on the IRS website.
3. Return Preparer Fraud. Most tax professionals file honest and accurate returns for their clients. However, some dishonest tax return preparers skim a portion of the client’s refund or charge inflated fees for tax preparation. Some try to attract new clients by promising refunds that are too good to be true. Choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return. All paid tax preparers must sign the return they prepare and enter their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Here are 10 Tips to Help You Choose a Tax Preparer
Very good experience and glad I made the decision to use this company. Michael was professional and courteous in all of my dealings with him. My tax dilemma was quickly resolved and Michael even waived much of his normal fee. Where else have you heard of a business doing that? Without question, I would recommend Landmark Tax Group for anyone seeking a fair resolution for a tax problem.
Michael was fantastic! He understood my case very quickly, got right to work and was super prompt with communications. His professionalism and his friendly demeanor immediately put me at ease. I whole heartedly recommend contacting them if you’re in need of advice and assistance.
I received great advice in how to deal with the FTB, i don’t review often, but when someone is honest and legitimate, they do deserve a review. My questions were answered, and if i didn’t quite understand, Micheal was more than willing to give me follow-up answers to better help me. I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group, just for the mere fact that they treat you as a human being, Not a cash cow.
I had some returns from previous years to complete after receiving a hefty bill from the California Franchise Tax Board. Michael was prompt in answering my questions and very helpful and reassuring. We had several back and forth communications and this was all done for free since they do not prepare tax returns. He gave me some contacts and advice and now I’m on my way to getting my situation resolved. I’m very thankful for his advice and guidance.
While Michael’s scope of practice meant that we ultimately could not work directly to resolve the issue I was having, he was very prompt, professional, generous and kind in taking time out of his schedule to consult with me, refer me to his network of colleagues- not just once, but a second time even months after. Some professionals are just after services and compensations but Michael strikes me as someone who genuinely cares about your situation and wants to see to it that it gets resolved. These other reviews speak to that as well. You never want to be in a situation where you need to be looking up tax help, but God forbid you ever are, Michael is the person you want in your corner!
Michael and Landmark Tax Group were simply awesome. I like so many others had a year’s old tax issue arise with California FTB. I no longer live there which compounded the stress of the situation. The state had seized monies and filed a lien. After a call to an online tax relief place and some sketchy phone calls I was so happy to find Michael and immediately felt in good hands… at a time of considerable panic.
Fast forward to today and with his help I am totally debt free. He saved me $23,000
I highly recommend Michael and Landmark Tax Group
Michael Raanan is an angel! Michael went above and beyond for me. He was very knowledgeable, professional and very thorough! He is easy to talk to and amazing at what he does. I have a feeling that everyone at landmark tax group shares this way of professionalism! I highly recommend coming here for any and all of your tax help. They will help you and you will be more than pleased with them. 🙂
After calling the other highly advertised tax assistant agency’s and being disappointed with how they responded to my tax matter, I feel fortunate to have found out about the Landmark Tax Group. Michael was very understanding of my situation, and I felt very comfortable dealing with him. He was very knowledgeable and professional in handling our tax issue in a timely manner. I would highly recommend The Landmark Tax Group to anyone who needs assistance in dealing with the IRS.
Wow, just wow. I called Michael today to ask about some major tax issues I had with a defunct corporation I’d started years ago. Michael talked to me for about half an hour, walking me through options and generally helping me understand my options.
Because of him, I’m going to rest nicely tonight for the first time in weeks. It was great to hear that he used to work in IRS collections for 8 years too… which made me feel a lot more secure in his answer.
In all, I’m completely stunned by the level of service he gave to a random stranger who called in and wasn’t going to turn into any revenue for him. I have to imagine that his level of service for actual customers is unreal.
Fast, dependable, reliable, full transparency. Michael Raanan of Landmark Tax Group allayed my fears spending the rest of my senior years paying my tax debt. As a result of his extensive knowledge of the tax code, the right questions to ask, and his dedication to my case, I had information, resolution and a plan of action within 24 hours, start to finish. Amazing! I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group!
We were very pleased with the expert assistance we received from Michael Raanan at Landmark Tax Group. In a matter of months we had a resolution to our IRS tax issue. He was very knowledgeable, professional, explained things in easy to understand terminology & was very easy to discuss our tax issues with. We called around to other tax groups & just felt the most comfortable speaking & working with Michael. We are happy to recommend him & his firm.
Michael Raanan represents the highest level of professionalism, integrity, decency, and true concern for his clients. His advice every step of the way was right on target. The end result was a savings of $13,000 on my taxes.
I have already referred him to the other members of my financial team and have complete confidence in referring any clients to him. He is a shining star in his field.
Oh, did I mention how reasonable his fees are? Exceptional considering the amount of attention he provides.