IRS urging people to be careful when selecting a tax professional to avoid scams

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — It’s tax season, and while you’re busy gathering all the documents you need, scammers are busy too.

The IRS issued a reminder Thursday about carefully selecting a tax professional to prepare your return.

Most of them provide honest service, but some may not have the best intentions.

“You’re giving that person, or that company, or that firm, your information, your tax information to file on your behalf, so if you’re going to do that, definitely look out, choose wisely because you are the one responsible for the information once you signed that tax return,” said Raphael Tulino with the IRS.

Last year, the IRS identified $5.5 billion in tax fraud and took part in 1,400 tax crime investigations. In one scam, a man filed more than 1,700 false tax returns, claiming $9.1 million in refunds. Sometimes, the scammers can file a tax return before you do to get your refund.

“If you feel like you’ve been a victim of identity theft, or perhaps you feel like you’ve got your information out there that could be had by the bad guys and using your good name, check IRS.gov and what you can do to protect yourself,” said Tulino.

The IRS stresses it never contacts you by phone or email, and urges you to never click on links or attachments sent via unsolicited emails or text messages claiming to be from the IRS.

For more information, visit the IRS website.

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