Tags: IRS | tax | identity | theft

IRS Warns Against Tax Scams

Monday, 27 Jan 2014 07:35 AM

By Denis Kleinfeld

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The IRS issued new warnings telling taxpayers that they need to be careful when paying their taxes this year.

Basically it is an acknowledgment that the government still has no way of securing the tax system from scams, shams and frauds.

When it comes to taxes, every taxpayer is on their own.

With the income tax system being in place for 100 years, you would think that the government would have figured out by now a way for taxpayers to pay without getting ripped off. If you thought that you're wrong.

The IRS says "scams can take many forms."

Apparently, the IRS needs taxpayers to be ever vigilant because the crooks may pose as the IRS when trying to get your personal financial information. There could be fake email requests, text messages or other electronic media requests.

The IRS would like to be more on the alert, but just don't have the resources to do the job. Besides, as has been pointed out in a long list of reports by the National Taxpayer Advocate, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and others, the tax law is just too complex to be administered securely.

What needs to be realized by taxpayers is that this year the IRS is responsible for the Affordable Care Act compliance as well as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) compliance. These are two of the most complex undertakings ever taken by any government in history.

Clearly, the Affordable Care Act is already, as they say in the army, FUBAR. And FATCA is heading over the same cliff as well.

I think what can be said fairly is that Congress and the president expect the IRS to administer a tax law that just cannot be administered no matter how much heroic bureaucratic effort is made.

Plus the IRS is getting its budget cut.

The odds that identity theft will be stopped anytime soon are slim to none.

What does the IRS say you should do to protect yourself since it can't?
  • Don't carry any documents that have your Social Security number or your taxpayer identification number.
  • Protect you financial information.
  • Check your credit reports every 12 months.
  • Do not use an unscrupulous tax return preparer. Use only preparers that give excellent service.
These are the best suggestions the IRS has been able to come up with so far. If you want more advice from the IRS, then they say to check with IRS.gov for the IRS Fact Sheet 2014, IRS Combats Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts

I'm sure all taxpayers will find this guidance from their government helpful and comforting.

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