Navigating Tax Season Safely

As tax season approaches, it’s time to settle accounts with Uncle Sam. However, this period also brings out individuals who exploit this obligation by perpetrating scams on unsuspecting taxpayers.

In today’s digital world, tax scams have become more sophisticated, making it hard for individuals to differentiate between legitimate tax matters and fraudulent schemes. One common scam involves fraudsters pretending to offer assistance in creating an online account at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to pay taxes. The information they gather can be used to file a fraudulent tax return, allowing the scammer to pocket the refund, or for other forms of financial fraud or identity theft. 1

It’s important to note that the IRS primarily communicates through the mail and will typically contact taxpayers by phone or in person only after sending multiple written notices. They will never demand immediate payment, threaten to call law enforcement, or request payment of a tax bill using a gift card, prepaid debit card, or wire transfer. 2

Additionally, beware of “free money” scams. Criminals may claim to offer unclaimed refunds or stimulus funds, often asking for an upfront fee to “retrieve” your money. Always be vigilant about tax fraud and consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional before responding to any new claim. 3

To safeguard yourself, consider setting up an IRS Online Account at, and avoid storing financial records and information in an email account. If you receive unsolicited communications claiming to be from the IRS, it’s wise to consult your tax professional before responding. If necessary, report the incident to local law enforcement, the FBI, the state attorney general, AARP, and the FTC.

As we navigate this tax season, stay vigilant. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your advisor or tax professional if you have any concerns or need guidance.

Sources, January 2024, July 2023, January 2024

Investment Advisory Services offered through Trek Financial LLC., an (SEC) Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered specific investment advice, does not take into consideration your specific situation, and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. For specific tax advice on any strategy, consult with a qualified tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Trek 24-182

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