IRS forms can suck the joy right out of a wonderful April day. Do you prefer online tax filing? Guess what: so do cyber criminals. Also on their target list: CPAs and local tax preparer offices.
The IRS expects damages from tax refund fraud - somebody filing for a refund, using a stolen identity - to rise to $21 billion this year. This increase is in part due to the widespread use of e-filing services by taxpayers.
While such services make filing for a refund easier, some Internet tax filing platforms are also known to fuel tax fraud. Organized scamsters use them to automate their scheme online.
That tax refund you expected? The one that’s long overdue? It may have been paid out already, but to somebody else: to a tax scam artist.
As a victim of tax refund fraud, up to nine months can pass before you finally receive your money. That’s on average how long it takes