In an effort to help avoid these scams, the Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips:
· The IRS and legitimate government agencies never demand payment by phone;The following suggestions will help consumers file their tax returns safely and keep more of their return:
· If you owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in writing that identifies the agency and the reason you owe money;
· Do not give out personal information, including your Social Security number or bank account information, to telephone callers;
· Legitimate government organizations will never threaten arrest or deportation for failure to pay a debt;
· Legitimate government agencies will never insist that consumers pay a debt only via a pre-paid credit card.
· If you use a tax-preparation service, use only established and recognizable companies;For more information, click here.
· Check the tax preparer's qualifications and history through the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org);
· Ask for a written estimate of all fees; avoid those who base their fees on a percentage of your refund;
· Make sure the tax preparer is accessible, even after the April due date;
· Never sign a blank return;
· Review entire return before signing;
· Make sure the preparer signs the tax form and includes a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN);
· Consult New York's “Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers.”