Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Tax Scams

Tax season can be a period of worry, confusion and financial stress. However, for identity thieves, tax season brings the perfect opportunity to steal the identities and hard-earned money of hardworking individuals.

Taxpayers should be aware of scams using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) name and logo to gain access to personal or financial information in order to commit identity theft and/or steal assets. These scams frequently use phishing, a tactic employing an email or website to trick you into providing detailed personal or financial information, such as your name, Social Security number or date of birth. Identity theft occurs when scammers use this information to empty bank accounts, use credit cards or obtain credit in your name.

Fraudulent tax return preparers are known to charge inflated prices for their services, skim part of their clients’ refunds, and attract new customers by offering guaranteed or inflated refunds.

Protect Yourself from Tax Scams

  • The only genuine IRS website is www.irs.gov.
  • Make sure that the preparer assisting you with your filing has a Preparer Tax Identification Number and that they provide this number on the returns that they prepare.
  • The IRS does not contact you by email to request detailed personal financial information.
  • If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, you should contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to determine whether the IRS is trying to contact you about a tax refund.