NY AG Warning New Yorkers of Tax Season Scams

By Joe Gullo

Published 03/26 2014 11:25AM

Updated 03/26 2014 11:34AM

ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is warning New Yorkers of tax season scams. 

A press release says individuals prey on seniors or college students by impersonating tax authorities to obtain personal information.

“Tax season is stressful enough. New Yorkers trying to file their taxes on time should not also have to worry about being ripped off by tax scammers,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Taking advantage of vulnerable people in this tough economy is shameful. That’s why my office is helping to provide New Yorkers with the information they need to make sure they don’t get ripped off by scam artists.” 

In an effort to help New Yorkers avoid tax-themed scams, the Attorney General’s Office offered the following tips:
  • The IRS and legitimate government agencies never demand payment by phone;
  • 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.
The following suggestions will help consumers file their tax returns safely:
  • If you use a tax-preparation service, use only established and recognizable companies; 
  • Check the tax preparer's qualifications and history through the Better Business Bureau (www.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.”
Anyone who believes they've been a victim of any tax preparation scams are urged to file complaints by visiting the New York Attorney General Office’s website or by calling 1-800-771-7755.

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