IRS warns of tax filing scams

Internal Revenue Service Spokesman Mark S. Green advises Georgia residents to be aware of a scam involving the filing of a federal income tax return to get a refund of Social Security taxes paid.

“Taxpayers should not fall victim to a scam offering refunds of the Social Security taxes they have paid," Green said. "The scam usually works by the victim paying the scam operator a fee for preparation of the false refund claim and possibly a percentage of any refund received. ”

The perpetrators of this hoax fleece victims for the up-front preparation fee. The law does not allow such a refund of Social Security taxes paid, so participants could be subject to a penalty for filing a false tax return. "Getting a refund of Social Security taxes is generally not an option and, in this case, it’s not legal,” Green said.

Green said the IRS became aware of the problem when alert workers in the Atlanta IRS office noticed that several people were coming in and asking for copies of their Social Security income statements. When questioned, some of the people explained that a person was preparing refund claims for them.

The IRS and Social Security Administration immediately focused their efforts on locating the person or persons preparing the false claims.

Green said that if anyone received a refund from one of these false claims before the scam was detected, the law requires those taxpayers to return the funds. If they have cashed the check, the IRS will usually work with them to arrange an immediate return of the funds.

Anyone who has information about suspected tax fraud or a tax scam should contact the IRS Tax Fraud Hotline at 800-829-0433. Read more about tax scams and how to recognize them at www.irs.gov.