Tax season scams and reminders to watch out for

With tax season approaching, organizations and businesses are warning people to file early and avoid scams.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 8:17 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Even though the tax filing deadline isn’t until April 18, the Better Business Bureau is warning people to file as soon as they get all of their documents. That’s because scammers may already have large pieces of information, and they can begin filing tax returns in your name.

“Scammers are going to start filing them early. Often times, if you get your W-2 sooner, file it because they file in bulk,” Jessie Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau said. “So much of our information is out there. So many of our social security numbers have been compromised in data breaches. Everything that they need to know. Where we work, what our addresses are, all of that is out there. It doesn’t take much to file a fake tax return on my behalf.”

The 2023 tax season officially starts on January 23. To try and avoid those scams, be sure to collect every document you’ll need to file early. Schmidt recommends filing with a company, individual, or software that’s trustworthy.

“Stick with those people that are tried and true, and have a good reputation in the marketplace. There are several great tax preparers across our city.” Schmidt said.

Tax preparation services are noticing the rush of folks trying to be first. Timothy Ness, owner of Ness Tax and Bookkeeping, said their busiest periods are at the beginning and end of the tax season. This year is no different.

“We see a big wave of interest early in the tax season to get their refunds, to get that money back into their bank account. Then we have some folks that have to wait or just decide to wait until later in the year.” Ness said.

Ness said the IRS is still dealing with a backlog of returns. So he suggests that people file early in the season if possible, to be sure you get your return in a timely fashion.

“The processing of the returns is still an ongoing problem at the Internal Revenue Service. So they’re again suggesting that everybody file electronically if at all possible, to minimize the amount of paper flowing through the system.” Ness said.