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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Protect Yourself from Tax Scams

1/30/2024
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
 
**CONSUMER ALERT**
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Protect Yourself from Tax Scams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis provided tips to protect Floridians from tax related fraud and scams as the federal tax preparation season begins. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that the most common theme among tax scammers is posing as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to trick people into either paying up or sharing personal information.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to try and separate you from your hard earned money or personal financial information. Unfortunately, the tax paying season is the perfect opportunity to try to scam someone by posing as the IRS or by offering fake tax preparation services. The best way to avoid being scammed is to know the warning signs of tax fraud so you can avoid becoming a victim. Always verify you are working with a trustworthy tax preparation service and check out websites carefully to ensure you are working with the real IRS. If you or a loved one feels you have become the victim of tax fraud report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”

Six Tips to Avoid Tax Scams

  • The best way to avoid tax identity theft is to file your taxes as early as possible. File before a scammer has the chance to use your information to file a fake return.
  • In the U.S., jot down your Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS before you file your return. This is a six-digit number, which, in addition to your Social Security number, confirms your identity. It is important to note that you cannot opt-out once you get an IP PIN. So once you apply, you must provide the IP Pin each year when you file your federal tax returns. The IRS will provide your IP PIN online and then send you a new IP PIN each December by postal mail. Visit the IRS for more information about the program. Read BBB's tips about the IRS PIN
  • The IRS does not initiate contact with tax payers by email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.
  • Only deal with trustworthy tax preparation services. For many people, major life changes, business ownership, or simply a lack of knowledge about the ever-changing tax laws make finding a trustworthy tax preparer a good idea. That said, not all tax preparers have the same level of experience and training. See our tips for finding the right tax preparer for you
  • Check out websites carefully and make sure you are accessing the real IRS website when filing your taxes electronically or inquiring for additional information.
  • If you get tax information delivered electronically from your employer or other entity, treat that information carefully. Download it onto a password-protected computer.

 

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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