Tips for Avoiding Tax Fraud

Tax Fraud
Posted at 7:26 PM, Jan 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-10 10:42:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Tax season is almost here and many people are beginning to lobby up their W-2's and other information so that they can file. Its also around the time that many people commit fraud -- some not even knowing it.

Tax attorney Jamie Coleman with Viera Williams P.A. offers advice.

"Some examples of tax fraud can include putting children on your tax return that you're not entitled to claim, allowing other people to claim you when you're not entitled to" said Williams. "Other examples of other types of tax fraud including using someone elses social security number, using someone's employer information like their W-2, their wage and income information."

But you also have tax fraud by tax preparers.

Williams said, "That could be fraudulant use of somebody else's tax ID number, there's a wide spectrum. Sometimes people call and claim they are from the IRS to collect financial information from a tax payer and get their bank account and credit card and they claim to be the IRS so that's also tax fraud."

The penalties of tax fraud can range anywhere from civil penalties to jail time. Williams says jail time generally depends on the dollar amount that's owed to the government.

For those who feel their identity, tax or social security information has been compromised, the IRS has a tool on their website to help people walk through how to report identity theft.

The last date to file taxes is April 15th unless you have an extension. That's also the last day to pay your taxes. Filing season doesn't open until January 31st.