The Inevitable IRS Tax Refund Scam

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning of a new Internet scam based on a site masquerading as a member of the Free File Alliance. The site attempts to get taxpayers to file their information with them. The scammers then change the bank account details to their own and wait for the refund payments to arrive.

The IRS reminded taxpayers the only place to access the Free File program is through the official IRS.gov Web site.

“The final days of the tax season always bring tax scams,” IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said. “Make sure you’re really dealing with the IRS. Taxpayers can feel safe using Free File, but the only way to do it is through the secure IRS.gov Web site.”

The latest twist on tax scams involves tax preparation Web sites that inaccurately say they are part of the Free File Alliance, a partnership between 19 tax software companies and the IRS. The IRS is working with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to look into allegations that the Web sites accepted tax information from taxpayers, changed the taxpayers’ bank account numbers to their own and then filed the return through a legitimate Free File partner.

Taxpayers can avoid this problem by using the official Free File site on IRS.gov. Seventy percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible to use the free electronic filing system.

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