An important concern as the filing season unfolds is refund fraud. Typically, identity thieves file fraudulent returns early in the filing season. Taxpayers often discover they are victims of identity theft when they attempt to file their legitimate return and learn that a fraudulent return had already been filed. The IRS has upgraded its refund fraud filters and has enhanced its outreach to victims of identity theft. Nonetheless, refund fraud is a growing problem.
Starting this year, the IRS will limit the number of direct deposit refunds to a single financial account or pre-paid debit card to three. Fourth and subsequent valid refunds will convert to paper checks and be mailed to the taxpayer. These measures are intended to help curb refund fraud.
The IRS also is educating taxpayers about telephone scams. Since October 2013, nearly 3,000 individuals have been victims of criminals making unsolicited calls to taxpayers fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials and demanding that they make a cash or credit card payment. Please be reminded that the IRS does not ask for payment by pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
Our office will keep you posted of developments this filing season. As always, if you have questions, please click here to contact our office or call 315.422.1391.
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