Mobilians: Beware of Tax Scams!

drawing of a person on tax dayIt is tax season, and while most struggling Alabama working folks look forward to getting a refund this time of year, the Mobile Police Department has issued a warning that tax scams abound this year. What happens is this: you have worked all year and are entitled to a refund for overpayment of taxes and, possibly, a big Earned Income Tax Credit. This can mean a check for thousands of dollars. And wherever there is money to be paid, there is a crook hoping to steal it.  You go to an ‘expert’ for help filing your taxes, and they file them for you.  But instead of sending you a check, they keep the money.  Or they give you only part of what you should receive.  Or they give you a ‘loan’ that you must repay with your tax refund.  Despite the potential for big criminal penalties – tax fraud is a federal crime – ripoff schemes abound.

According to the Mobile Police Department, here are some things to watch out for: personally investigate any business you are dealing with, especially if you have never heard of them.  Check them out with the Better Business Bureau or  Use only secure websites if you go online.  In fact, I would recommend that you use a certified public accountant (C.P.A.) and if you go with a chain tax preparer, only use large, well-funded corporations like Turbotax or H & R Block.