IRS Tax Preparation Scams + The American Opportunity Tax Credit
I opened another file today involving a taxpayer that got scammed by the person who prepared his 2011 tax return. In this scheme the promoter claimed the taxpayer could get a tax refund based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit even though she was not enrolled in or paying for college. Unbelievable! I almost feel out of my chair ….. again!
What I learned from sources inside the IRS is that con artists have been falsely claiming that refunds are available even if the taxpayer went to school ten years ago and more. To avoid falling victim to these POND SCUM, I’m restating below what the IRS sent to me, to be aware of any of the following:
Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on false statements of entitlement to tax credits.
Unfamiliar for-profit tax services selling refund and credit schemes to the membership of local churches.
Internet solicitations that direct individuals to toll-free numbers and then solicit social security numbers.
Homemade flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.
Offers of free money with no documentation required.
Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.”
Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or for economic stimulus payments.
Unsolicited offers to prepare a return and split the refund.
Unfamiliar return preparation firms soliciting business from cities outside of the normal business or commuting area.
It’s the same old story. The tragic part is that scams like this always seem to target the most vulnerable in society and it makes me sick every time…