With tax filing season growing closer, Colorado taxpayers are working hard to make sure everything’s in order, making sure they apply for EIN in Colorado, sorting out the paperwork, that sort of thing. After all, no one wants the auditor to come a callin’.
Especially not with filing season also being the season for tax fraud cases and identity theft.
According to Special Agent Steven Osborne, in charge of the Colorado branch of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), is that, historically, filing season and increased tax fraud cases and identity theft coincide. His office has already issued a warning for any taxpayer, or future taxpayer looking to apply for EIN in Colorado, of the different kinds of schemes that prey upon the unwary.
An example is when someone receives an automated call, with a computer-generated speaker on the other end, which will tell them of a ‘claim number’, then pass along a call-back number with an actual person on the other end of the line. This person will then claim to be an IRS employee, or, with more particularly daring scammers, claim to be IRS special agents. These scammers will then aggressively threaten the potential victim, usually with jail time.
Osborne says that this is a very unsophisticated con with a small success rate, but the problem lies in the fact that that’s all they need.
He elaborates that the IRS will never demand that taxpayers immediately pay for taxes, or threaten them with incarceration without an option to go through due process. He says that’s the best way to avoid this scam is to just hang up.
February and early March is the time when the tax fraud and the identity theft are at their peak, with legitimate taxpayers having their returns suddenly rejected, as the scammers file the fakes as quickly as they can to get the most out of it; as such, filing as early as possible is best.
Other safety precautions include not having a Social Security Card tucked in a wallet, not freely divulging personal information, regular password changes, and the like. Osborne and the IRS encourage taxpayers, not just in Colorado but across the US, to be diligent and to be careful about their taxes, as scammers come out of the woodwork during filing season, and to ensure that they go through all the proper channels.