Tips to avoid being scammed when filing income tax return

Tips to avoid being scammed when filing income tax return

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YUMA, AZ - The deadline to file income taxes is fast approaching and last minute filers might run into some trouble while trying to beat the deadline.

April 17, 2012 is the last day to file your taxes and while tax season is a busy time for tax preparers, it's also a busy time for scammers.

Scammers use different schemes to trick people like identify theft and return preparer fraud.

"We have found that other people are filing under your social security card," said Karina Jones, Resource Development & Marketing Director at United Way of Yuma County.

"There are a lot of places in the area who say there will give you your return within 48 hours but that's false. The IRS doesn't return your money in 48 hours," said Jones.

Tax preparers say to also look out for fake websites that guarantee an easy fast e-file tax return.

There are many precautions you can take to avoid being victimized.

"They tell you they can do everything for you. If they say 'oh it doesn't matter, you can just put this without documentation,' I think that's the first red flag," said Carmen Gontes, Program Coordinator for WACOG.

"We're really trying to educate people as this is the last push to get your taxes done and not to go to these places but really go to a certified tax preparer and get them done correctly," added Jones.

Tax preparers advise to only claim a person as a dependant if you provide more than 50 percent of their living expenses.

"That's their main question 'well can I add this person?' but because it's not part of their household or somebody they are supporting, they can't do that," said Gontes.

It is also vital to have all documents that can prove everything claimed on your tax form to be prepared for audit rounds by the IRS.

"They can get in trouble and ask for the money back with fees," said Gontes about being audited and everything not checking out.

For anyone that cannot make the April 17, 2012 deadline an extension can be requested through the IRS website.

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