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January 26, 2014

Avoiding identity theft scams

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Other email scams from fraudsters posing as IRS personnel include notifications of lottery winnings, a notice that more than one return was filed by the taxpayer and notification of W-2s received from an unknown employer.

Scams also can take the form of “assisting” taxpayers in filing returns to collect fraudulent refunds, promotion of tax evasion techniques or reporting false income for purposes of increasing refundable credits.

A taxpayer who believes there is a risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information should contact the IRS immediately so the agency can take action to secure the account. The taxpayer should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.

A taxpayer who believes they may have received a fraudulent or otherwise questionable communication related to taxes should contact a licensed tax professional. Enrolled agents are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

That means that if you get a letter from the IRS, are audited or are the target of a collection action, your EA can speak directly to the IRS on your behalf. Find an EA in your area on the directory at naea.org.

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