Tax season is in full swing, but there are some things you need to know to avoid getting swindled. Liberty Tax Service in Pocatello addressed a few of the Internal Revenue Service's "Dirty Dozen," a list of 12 scams they see each year as tax season arrives.
Every year it seems like there are more and more ways scammers are trying to make your life just miserable. One of the major scams is when someone claims to be able to do your taxes, but doesn't have the credentials.
"Make sure that the individual who is completing the tax return actually has what they call a PTIN," said Daniel Call, owner of Liberty Tax Service, "a Preparer Tax Identification Number, and that's actually issued by the IRS."
Call said not having this PTIN can lead to many problems. The preparer could get jail time and you could end up owing more many than before, not including fees and penalties for incorrect filing.
"The most important thing when picking a tax preparer is not the one that's going to give you the largest refund," Call said. "The most important thing is picking one that will give you the most accurate tax return."
Call and the IRS also both advise against going to anyone who has a guarantee that they can get you money.
"You can't guarantee anybody anything," Call said. "It's not something where you say, "Let's leave this out to maximize your refund." That's illegal."
Call also said these are reasons why it's important to keep things like all your medical and dental receipts.
"Because those could potentially be a deduction for you if you have enough in terms of dollars," said Call.
Call also said college students need to be aware of what they can write off on their taxes, including interest payments on student loans and even books – if you qualify. And Call said there's no harm in asking, so long as you're asking someone who knows what they're talking about.
"Some of these are things you need to bring in and discuss with your tax preparer or CPA and say, "Okay, do I qualify for these things?" They may be some hidden deductions or credits that may help them out," said Call
For the full list of the "Dirty Dozen," click here for the IRS website: http://1.usa.gov/1mmxvH8.