With tax season well in the swing, it is important to talk about tax season scams and how they can impact your small business.
We have previously discussed fake websites and phishing email scams while showing an example of an active phishing scam. Because of this, I would like to focus on a few other scams that happen during tax season. The National Cyber Security Alliance has a great resource available for download, check it out here.
Most of us have probably all received one of these phone calls before. These commonly are automated phone calls without a live person on the phone, but not always. The call claims to represent the IRS and usually indicates you have either missed a tax payment, are being audited, or request payment for delinquent taxes.The main goal of these calls is to typically get your social security number, EIN number, or payment information. Sometimes falling victim to this type of cyber scam can lead to our next one, fraudulent tax returns. The IRS will almost never call you to discuss your taxes and if they do, it is most likely to schedule an appointment to meet with the IRS.
Fraudulent Tax Returns💵
These most typically happen when a cyber scammer submits tax returns in your name before you complete your own. Once you receive all the tax information needed to file your taxes, you should. This way you can beat the cyber scammer to it and if they file after you, it will be flagged as potential fraud and the IRS will scrutinize their submission.
Tax Preparer Fraud🧑💻
Lastly it is important to discuss tax preparers. It is important to vet your tax preparer before signing up for their services, especially if you have never heard of them before. You can do this by requesting references from them prior to hiring them as your preparer. It is also encouraged to look for reviews of them if and when possible. Once you find a tax preparer you like and trust, consider using them consistently. Very importantly it is important to review the work they have performed for you, ask them to review your tax submissions to ensure accuracy.
For more on cybersecurity checkout Small Business, Big Threat!