Only a few days into the filing season, the IRS has already identified a new scam that began with cybercriminals accessing several tax professionals’ computers, stealing data, and then filing fraudulent tax returns.
In a few cases, the fraudulent returns used taxpayers’ actual bank accounts for the direct deposit of the refund. A woman posing as a debt collection agency official then contacted the taxpayers to say a refund was deposited in error to their bank account and asked the taxpayers to return the money to her.
When there is a suspected data theft, it is important that both FTB and IRS are notified. When notified immediately, both FTB and IRS can take steps to help protect taxpayers from tax-related identity theft.
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"An Enrolled Agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by passing a three-part comprehensive IRS exam covering individual and business tax returns. Enrolled Agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to strict ethical standards and complete a minimum of 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years."
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