Some people will do just about anything to lower their income tax bill, which means they could be victims of a variety of tax refund scams, warns the San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB).
“Nobody is ever eager to pay income taxes and the scamsters know this,” said Sheryl Bilbrey, BBB president/CEO. “Consumers should not be fooled by outrageous claims when someone says there are secret ways to escape paying taxes. Instead of limiting your tax liability, tax scams will only separate you from even more of your hard earned cash.”
Among the typical tax refund scams, according to the BBB: “Instant” or “rapid” tax refunds could be actually short term, cash advance loans with a high interest rate; Unscrupulous tax return preparers will fabricate expenses on their client’s return and then charge an inflated fee after “guaranteeing” a larger refund; Identity thieves posing as IRS agents will lie about depositing big refunds in exchange for personal information, such as bank account, Social Security and credit card numbers.
The BBB also cautions against fast talking promoters looking for a big commission who will urge taxpayers to transfer assets into trust accounts, out of state corporations or overseas bank accounts in the Bahamas, which may not deliver the tax reduction benefits as advertised.
The BBB advises consumers to carefully choose a tax preparer. No matter who prepares a return, the taxpayer is ultimately responsible for all the information on that return, along with any resulting back taxes, interest and penalties as a result of tax evading schemes. For more consumer protection tips, visit www.sandiego.bbb.org.
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