Protect your personal information, refund from scammers when filing tax return

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Both the IRS and the Better Business Bureau are warning people about tax scams and other problems as the tax filing season officially begins.

First off, imposters are using tax season to try to obtain your personal information so they can file phony tax returns and collect your refund. Then when you file your tax return it's rejected.

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So, keep all of your information close and watch out for suspicious phishing links being sent to your phone.

Also, be cautious when choosing a tax preparer:
  • Ask if the preparer has an IRS "Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which is required

  • Never sign a blank or incomplete return and make sure Refunds are going directly to you- not the preparer


  • ALSO SEE: Missing stimulus payment but aren't required to file taxes? IRS says you'll have to file this year to get that money

    TIPS FROM IRS



    Tips when choosing a tax preparer:

    1. Look for a preparer who is available year-round in case questions arise after the filing season.

    2. Ask if the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which is required for paid preparers.

    3. Inquire about the preparer's credentials and check their qualifications.

    4. Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client's refund or claim to offer a bigger refund than their competition.

    5. Never sign a blank or incomplete return and review it before signing. Refunds should go directly to the taxpayer, not the preparer.

    For more tips on choosing a tax professional or to file a complaint against one, visit IRS.gov. Taxpayers who suspect tax violations by a person or business, may report it to the IRS using Form 3949A, Information Referral.
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