IRS moving quickly to stop tax scam

Thu, 01/31/2008 - 3:57pm
By: The Citizen

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer warning today for Georgia residents. They are advised to be aware of a scam that is being operated in the area that involves the filing of a federal income tax return to get a refund of Social Security taxes paid.

Taxpayers should not fall victim to a scam offering refunds of the Social Security taxes they have paid. The scam usually works by the victim paying the scam operator a fee for preparation of the false refund claim and possibly a percentage of any refund received.

This hoax fleeces the victims for the up-front preparation fee. Plus, the law does not allow such a refund of Social Security taxes paid, so participants could be subject to a penalty for filing a false tax return.

“The IRS is very concerned that some people in the metro Atlanta area have fallen for this scam,” said IRS spokesman Mark Green. “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Getting a refund of Social Security taxes is generally not an option and, in this case, it’s not legal.”

Green said the IRS became aware of the problem when alert workers in the Atlanta IRS office noticed that several people were coming in and asking for copies of their Social Security income statements. When questioned, some of the people explained that a person was preparing refund claims for them.

The IRS and Social Security Administration immediately focused their efforts on locating the person or persons preparing the false claims.

Green said that while he can’t comment on the specifics of the case, the IRS is gathering information now and working to stop the scam from spreading before more people are victimized.

Green said that if anyone received a refund from one of these false claims before the scam was detected, the law requires those taxpayers to return the funds. If they have cashed the check, the IRS will usually work with them to arrange an immediate return of the funds.

Anyone who has information about suspected tax fraud or a tax scam should contact the IRS Tax Fraud Hotline at 1-800-829-0433. Read more about tax scams and how to recognize them at

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