Tax season is underway, and this year’s deadline is extended three days to April 18. But it’s always good to get a head start.

Officials, however, are warning people to be aware of tax fraud and scams. The Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-CI Newark Bureau, Michael Montanez, offered tips on filing and what to look out for. 

IRS tax tips

  • Ask preparer for IRS Tax Preparer ID Number: Every paid preparer is required to have an ID number with the IRS. Make sure they have it so you know you’re working with a legitimate preparer.
  • Don’t sign blank returns: People may have been promised certain things or have a lot of trust in their preparer, but they should never sign blank returns.
  • Deposit refund in your bank account: It’s your money. It should go directly to you. Don’t have a bank account? Request the check be sent to your home.

IRS warnings

  • IRS will not threaten you over the phone: If you receive calls from people claiming to be IRS and requesting information or face arrests, hang up. 
  • Beware of texts or emails: Delete texts and emails claiming to be the IRS. Don’t click any links, which will lead you to spamware.
  • The IRS will typically contact you through mail. You may also receive a call, but you will be advised to come to the IRS building.
    • You can also call the IRS or check the website to verify letters sent to you.
  • Protect your personal information: Don’t respond to texts or emails. Don’t provide information if they call you.