SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

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Nearly 80% of all Americans feel vulnerable to tax scams yet nearly 60% do not know how to prevent or protect themselves from falling victim

Tax industry veteran offers tips for how you can prevent being scammed and what to do in the event you fall victim

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- TaxAudit.com today released findings of a survey of 2,000 Americans on the subject of tax scams conducted via Toluna QuickSurveys. Findings revealed 78% of Americans feel vulnerable to tax scams and 57% do not know how to prevent or protect themselves from falling victim. The survey also revealed 88% believe tax scams are a real problem in the U.S. and 20% say they know someone who has fallen victim.

Respondents' biggest concerns include identity theft, followed by telephone scams and phishing for user names and other personal information.

Veteran tax and IRS audit expert, Dave Du Val, Vice President of Customer Advocacy at TaxAudit.com, offers the following tips for how to identify and protect against tax scams:

  • If the caller claims that you need to send money right now or they will call the IRS or another government agency, know it is a scam and hang up.
  • If you receive a call or email claiming to be holding your refund until they "verify" some information, such as your bank account number and PIN, it is a scam. Do not respond.
  • If the person emailing claims, "I am from the IRS and I am here to help you obtain your refund," they clearly are not either. The IRS does not contact taxpayers via email. Do not respond.
  • If you receive a call from IRS asking for information, ask for the agent's ID number, then call the IRS directly to verify it or ask that they send their request in writing.
  • Protect your personal identifiable information (PII) from theft. Store W-2s and other sensitive documents in secure locations.
  • Check out the credentials of the tax preparer you are using. Ask if they are up to date on their continuing education, and ask to see their license or credential certificate. It's important to keep in mind that most tax return preparers in the U.S. are "unenrolled," meaning they are preparers that are not attorneys, CPAs or Enrolled Agents and therefore have zero requirements for any education on tax laws, old or new. The IRS has admitted it cannot include a ban on these tax return preparers. In fact, preparers who have previously been sanctioned by the IRS by having their PTINs (preparer tax identification number) blocked can obtain or renew their PTINS and prepare tax returns now.
  • If you do fall victim to a scam, seek guidance from the various resources available at irs.gov

Dave Du Val is Vice President of Customer Advocacy at TaxAudit.com. He is a nationally recognized tax educator, an Enrolled Agent and federally authorized tax practitioner.

About Toluna QuickSurveys

Toluna QuickSurveys takes the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of DIY survey-tools and adds speed and reliability by providing direct access to a global panel of over six million people available to respond to surveys. No other survey tool in the market can match the speed, reliability and cost-effectiveness.

About this survey

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Toluna surveys using SmartSelect, an automated, state-of-the art matching methodology for selecting a representative sample of the U.S. adult population.

About TaxAudit.com

TaxAudit.com is the largest and fastest-growing audit defense service in the country for taxpaying individuals, small businesses and tax preparers, with nearly 5 million members and 24,000 audits handled and resolved each year.

TaxAudit.com offers prepaid IRS audit representation and defends taxpayers from the moment they receive an audit notice through to the best possible resolution. TaxAudit.com members receive expert tax representation, relieving taxpayers from the nightmare of being audited, at a price point any taxpayer can afford.

TaxAudit.com is headquartered in Citrus Heights, CA.

SOURCE TaxAudit.com

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