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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Internal Revenue Service, IRS, has sent out a warning; scammers are out there this tax season capitalizing on the vulnerability of tax payers and their fears of the IRS.
The April 15th tax deadline is fast approaching and the IRS wants tax payers to know about some free help to get your filings completed—but that also comes with a warning.
“There’s a lot of scammers out there right now during tax season calling houses,” said Alejandra Castro-Nunez with the IRS.
These individuals, Castro-Nunez said, sound very professional. Sometimes caller ID will even display the IRS logo from the callers.
“The IRS does not call individuals at their houses. They do not threaten you, they do not tell you have you to pay right now or that you have to pay with a credit card or a money order. We do not operate that way. We send you information via U.S. mail,” Castro-Nunez said.
It is advised, if you receive a call from someone claiming to be the IRS, never give banking or credit card information and hang up.
“This is a scam that is going on and they’re trying to steal your money,” Castro-Nunez said.
Tax season can be stressful and what most people don’t know is that this year the IRS is launching a face-to-face help service for anyone seeking tax advice. You don’t have to show up and wait in line on a first come, first serve basis. Those interested can book an appointment online ahead of time. There are only 10 places in the U.S. and one is located in Plantation.
Those who earned $60,000 or less qualify.
To make an appointment, visit IRS.gov.
There’s also the Vita Program where someone else—a volunteer—will prepare your taxes for free.
“All you got to do is take your social security number, your W-2, your 1095, and if you earn $53,000 or less, they will prepare your taxes free of charge,” said Castro-Nunez.
For more information, go to IRS.gov and type “VITA” in the search box to book an appointment. There are many locations in South Florida.
The professionals will know all the credits filers are entitled to receive and, because they know the tax laws, safety is ensured by going to them.
Another program being launched in three locations in the U.S. is the “Identity Pin Project” where one can request an additional security code that anyone will need, in addition to a social security number to get access to records.
The IRS recommends not waiting until the last minute to make an appointment because it may be difficult to get an appointment in time for the April 15th deadline.