Ark-La-Tex (KMSS) — Tax season right around the corner and many are scrambling to get their papers filed.
The Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force is warning people to be careful who they get to help them.
Detective Jason Frazier suggests, "either use a certified public accountant or a recognized tax preparation agency."
Frazier wants to remind people that it's not safe to work on your taxes with someone who is not certified.
"If you use a fly-by-night operation, an individual [for example, a friend tells you] hey I know this friend of a friend that's doing taxes, and they're only going to charge you this much, and they can get you loads more money back on your taxes, you don't know who you're truly dealing with."
Scammers can either take a part of your tax returns or run of with all of it.
Some even go as far as stealing your identity.
Frazier emphasizes, "the sky is the limit. it can be anywhere from a dollar to a million dollars. it just depends on how fast the criminal can act and how much they get."
Criminals can use your information anywhere from buying groceries, or as Detective Frazier points out, even surgeries.
Not only do you lose money, your credit is also likely to be damaged.
The IRS suggests that people keep their tax records for at least 7 years for many reasons like buying a house, claiming bankruptcy, or to help solve a case of identity theft.
To summarize, officials suggest:
- go to certified public accountant or a known tax preparation service
- keep all your tax records
This is all to safeguard yourself and your loved ones.
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