The IRS warns of these latest tax scams and problems facing filers this season

Tax filing problems

Yahoo Finance had a special visitor this week: the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, who came by to give us a look behind the scenes at the IRS and shed light on some of the biggest problems facing filers today.

The IRS’s Dirty Dozen calls out the worst of the worst tax scams, and Olson warns that fraudsters are getting more sophisticated in their attempts to steal tax refunds and identities. This has been reflected in the increase in calls to the IRS’s identity theft line. Olson cautions taxpayers to beware of people pretending to be the IRS, giving out fake badge numbers, hacking caller IDs to say it’s the IRS calling you, and even attempting to defraud the hearing and speech impaired through a video relay service.

Taxpayers need to know the IRS will never call or email to demand immediate payment as all taxpayers have the right to question and appeal the amount owed.

Another pain point this filing season: More people are making mistakes on their returns — 200% more than last year. That’s not surprising since the new tax law made things more confusing for everyone — including the pros like accountants and tax attorneys who are all finding it difficult to receive a live representative to speak with at the IRS. If your tax filing has an error, Olson says to expect delays in resolving the issue as well as your refund since it’s not something that can be resolved with an automated machine. A human being actually has to look at your return.

While taxpayers have been frustrated with lower than expected refunds that are down 8.7% year over year, Olson says we could see a bump up in those numbers since families who qualify for the earned income tax credit (EITC) as well as the child tax credit will finally be getting their refunds now — beginning the second half of this month.

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