Tax scammers have a new trick up their sleeve according to the latest IRS warning. Shutterstock
21 February, 2018, 08:55
The IRS is calling for tax preparers to step up their security after several thousand victims nationwide have been duped by fake returns, deposited right into their bank account. The crooks then use that data to create and file fraudulent tax returns.
You can check your refund status within 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return or four weeks after you mail a paper return. And do it quickly, because you may be charged interest on the money that wasn't yours. For example, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics, Frequently Asked Questions, Tax Trails and the IRS Tax Map to get faster answers.
Team Clark put together this handy chart to give you a rough idea of the 2018 tax refund schedule - and the magic number is 21 days. "That's how this scam was determined", said Reynolds. "If you are going to be audited or checked, you always get a letter first", Pappas said.
After all, the taxpayer actually does have a tax refund in his or her bank account as "proof" and the caller knows the exact amount and possibly other personal details. "If you return the check and don't cash it, you will not be penalized", Pappas said.
Early bird filers who submitted their returns when tax season opened January 29 may get their money in the coming weeks.
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"People are storing their tax returns on their computers in PDF format, very risky to do unless that file is encrypted or password protected".
The IRS urges taxpayers to follow established procedures for returning erroneous refunds.
Contact the Automated Clearing House department of the bank or financial institution and have them return it to the IRS. But taxpayers can track their refund anytime by using the "Where's My Refund?" tool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app. Taxpayers can also call the IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954. If a paper check was sent and not cashed, the IRS advises taxpayers to write "void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check and submit it to the appropriate IRS location, given here.
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