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Tax

Miami Tax Seven Tips to Avoid Phony Refund Schemes

Miami Tax Seven Tips to Avoid Phony Refund Schemes

Miami Tax offers the following seven tips to help taxpayers avoid during their 1040 tax preparation Miami and an emerging scheme tempting senior citizens and other taxpayers to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds.

Miami Tax firm Gustavo A Viera CPA state these schemes promise refunds to people who have little or no income and normally don’t have a requirement to do a 1040 tax preparation Miami.

Miami Tax firm Gustavo A Viera CPA warns that promoters claim they can obtain for their victims, often senior citizens, a tax refund on their 1040 tax preparation Miami or nonexistent stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, even if the victim was not enrolled in or paying for college.

Miami Tax CPA warns con artists falsely claim that refunds are available even if the victim went to school decades ago. In many cases, scammers are targeting seniors, people with very low incomes and members of church congregations with bogus promises of free money.

A variation of this scheme also falsely claims the college credit is available to compensate people for paying taxes on groceries when preparing their 1040 tax preparation Miami.

These schemes can be quite costly for victims. Miami Tax and Small business tax services Miami warns promoters may charge exorbitant upfront fees to file their 1040 tax preparation Miami and claims and are often long gone when victims discover they’ve been scammed.

Miami Tax and Small business tax services Miami warns taxpayers should be careful of these scams because, regardless of who did the 1040 tax preparation Miami, the taxpayer is legally responsible for the accuracy of their tax return and must repay any refunds received in error, plus any penalties and interest. They may even face criminal prosecution.

Miami Tax

Miami Tax and Small business tax services Miami warns to avoid becoming ensnared in these schemes, the IRS says taxpayers should beware 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.

In recent weeks, the IRS has identified and stopped an upsurge of these bogus refund claims coming in from across the United States. The IRS is actively investigating the sources of this scheme, and its promoters can be subject to criminal prosecution.

To get the facts on tax benefits related to education, go the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center on the IRS website.

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Tax

IRS Warns Miami Tax Preparers and Taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation unit is issuing a stern warning to New Miami tax preparers as it cracks down on preparers who falsify tax returns, while cautioning taxpayers to choose preparers carefully.

“Knowingly falsifying documents filed with the IRS is a crime,” said Shantelle P. Kitchen, IRS–Criminal Investigation acting special agent in charge of the Newark Field Office, in a statement. “Dishonest Miami tax preparers use a variety of methods to cheat the government. It is your responsibility to know what is on your income tax return. You are ultimately responsible for what gets filed with the IRS.”

Miami tax preparers fraud involves the preparation and filing of false income tax returns by preparers who claim inflated personal or business expenses, false deductions, unallowable credits or excessive exemptions on returns prepared for their clients, the IRS noted. However, when the IRS detects a fraudulent return, the taxpayer—not the return preparer—must pay the additional taxes and interest and may be subject to penalties.

During this tax filing season, the IRS cautioned taxpayers not to rush into a decision on who to use to prepare their returns, while acknowledging that most Miami tax preparers are professional, honest and provide excellent service to their clients.

Acting special agent in charge Kitchen offered the following tips when choosing a Miami tax preparers:

• Be cautious of tax preparers who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.

• Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund.

• Never sign a blank tax return.

• Use a reputable tax professional who signs their tax return and provides you with a copy. In addition, make sure the preparer includes their Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN, as required by law.

• Consider whether the individual or firm will be around to answer questions about the preparation of the tax return months, or even years, after the return has been filed.

• Check the Miami tax preparers credentials. Only attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS in all matters, including audits, collection and appeals. Other tax preparers may only represent taxpayers for audits of returns they have actually prepared.

• Find out if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that provides its members with continuing education and resources and holds them to a code of ethics.

• Ask friends and family members whether they know anyone who has used the tax professional and whether they were satisfied with the service they received.

Here are recent statistics on return preparer fraud from IRS-Criminal Investigation:

 

FY 2012    FY 2011    FY 2010

 

Investigations Initiated                  443           371          397

 

Prosecution Recommendations  276           233           202

 

Indictments/Informations             202           176           182

 

Convictions                                        178           163           145

 

Sentenced                                         172           163           132

 

Incarceration Rate*                        84.3%       87.1%       88.6%

 

Average Months to Serve              29             25             24

 

*Incarceration includes confinement to federal prison, halfway house, home detention, or some combination thereof.

Data Source: Criminal Investigation Management Information System