IRS releases 'dirty dozen' tax scams

Authorities warn taxpayers to be on the lookout for scammers

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's that time again -- tax time. That means it's also time to be on the lookout for tax season scammers.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office already put out a scam alert for this year and the IRS has a list of 12 tax scams to look out for, and identity theft is at the top of it.

"Unfortunately some people owe the IRS because of ID theft," Ronnie Hicks from the Tax Defense Network said. "Individuals have gone out there and worked using their social security number, been issued W2's, 1099's and have been issued a huge bill."

Scammers also try to get information by phishing over the internet. Phishing is when someone pretending to be the IRS sends an email asking for information.

"The IRS is not going to email you. It is on very rare occasion that you'll get an email from IRS, and certainly not in regards to a refund or balance due. If you get email from IRS, 99 percent of the time it's a scam," said Hicks.

To cut down on scamming, the IRS recently started requiring tax preparers to register before taking over anyone's taxes. Preparers must also have a T-Pin ID number. Hicks said it's important to know who's handling your taxes.

"You need to ask them are you licensed to prepare taxes. And to be issued a T-Pin, which is preparer tax ID number. And you can always contact the IRS to verify that," Hicks said.

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