Keep Your Eyes Out for Summer Tax Scams

August 01, 2016 by Charla Suaste
Charity Scam Sign

Over the course of the past several months, Americans have seen a number of devastating headlines splash in big letters across the covers of newspapers, magazines, and website homepages. Just a mention of the city of Orlando causes many of us to feel overwhelming grief and hopelessness. Fortunately, one of the spotlights of hope during such dark times may be found in the hearts of our fellow citizens, who are eager to share their hard-earned money with the families of those who have been victimized by such devastating events. Unfortunately, there are also those individuals who, despite such difficult times, are looking for nothing more than to prey on people’s emotions.
 

One way that scam artists are able to accomplish that is by creating fake charities that appear to be helping victims of national tragedies. Shortly after the Orlando shooting took place, these scammers jumped into action and began soliciting money from fellow Americans by way of email, social media, over the phone, and even through door-to-door home visits. Fortunately, the IRS followed up by issuing an alert for taxpayers to be vigilant about making sure the money they are donating is going to legitimate charities.
 

Scammers, despite their many flaws, tend to be clever, and often create fake charities that have names strikingly close to vetted non-profit organizations. For that reason, taxpayers are encouraged not to give out any personal information – such as Social Security numbers or credit card information – to anyone soliciting donations. Despite how well-meaning those individuals may seem, it is better to take down the charity’s information and do some online research to verify that the organization is a legitimate nonprofit whose money is going to the right place. One of the most foolproof ways to make that determination is to visit IRS.gov and use the Exempt Organizations Select Check – an online search tool that helps seek out vetted charitable organizations. If you are unable to find any information on the charity you are looking for, it is always better to steer clear and send your money elsewhere. No matter how generous you are feeling, it is always better to err on the side of stingy rather than end up on the wrong side of a tax scheme.
 

For more information about tax scams, please visit IRS.gov.

Recent Articles

Tax Return Help
When people ask me for advice on how they should deal with filing unfiled tax returns, I usually tell them to file the most recent year first.
State and Local Taxes
You can deduct certain state and local taxes (SALT) if you choose to itemize deductions on your tax return rather than claiming the standard deduction.
Oil Change
There is a very good chance that you can indeed deduct the cost of your oil changes if you use your car or truck for business purposes. Let's look closer at it.
Wooden House next to Money Bag
In general, only mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible in the transaction year, while some expenses and fees can be added to the cost basis.
This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting, or tax advice. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. TaxAudit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content of this blog. Content may become out of date as tax laws change. TaxAudit may, but has no obligation to monitor or respond to comments.