The New Year brings with it the start of tax season. Even with the Government Shutdown, the IRS Says it will soon begin processing returns. The Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan reports this is the time of year they see an increase in tax fraud. The BBB says consumers should protect their returns and be careful who they hire to do them.
The filing deadline to submit your 2018 Tax returns is Monday, April 15th. The Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan says even with the convenience of tax return software, more than half of returns submitted to the IRS las year were prepared by someone other than the taxpayer. Troy Baker is the Communications Manager for the Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan. He says the BBB is issuing a warning to consumers encouraging them to take the steps needed to ensure returns are accurate and secure.
“It’s critical if you think about what’s on your tax return, your social security number, your income, kids info, etc. this isn’t info you’d give to someone on the street. And when you do your taxes, youre giving that to somebody. Find someone that you can trust.”
Baker says if you’re looking for help with your taxes, you can start by doing your research.
“Do your homework. Look online. Look them up. go to BBB. org. Know the fees in advance, how much and will they charge extra to e-file your return. Get it in writing."
Baker adds one of the best things you can do is to file early.
“File your return early. One of the biggest scams is ID theft. People will take return when check comes. If you file your return first, you beat them to the punch.”
There’s a lot of information available to consumers on the BBB website at BBB-dot-org. Baker says feel free to contact them if you need help or have a concern.