NOW:53045:USA01489
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01489
43°
H 46° L 43°
Clear | 5MPH

IRS Warns of Tax Scam Targeting Wisconsin Residents

Aug. 25, 2011

MILWAUKEE – The Internal Revenue Service is warning of a scam in Wisconsin that promises a tax refund or rebate based on Social Security benefits. The scam is prevalent across parts of the Midwest and South, including Wisconsin.

 

“We are seeing the scam grow particularly in the Milwaukee and Racine areas, but it is present in other parts of the state as well,” explained IRS spokesperson Christopher Miller. “The scam encourages people to file tax returns, for a fee, to get a refund, rebate or stimulus check based on withholding from Social Security benefits. The problem is that the withholding never took place, and is therefore false, and the refund is neither allowed nor legitimate.”

 

The scam targets people who aren’t normally required to file tax returns, including seniors and low income individuals. Flyers and advertisements for “free money” from the IRS, suggesting that the taxpayer can file a return and get a refund with little or no documentation, have been appearing in community churches and senior centers around the country. These schemes are often spread by word of mouth among unsuspecting and well-intentioned people telling their friends and relatives.

 

People are being victimized because they end up paying the scammer a fee to prepare the returns, only to find out their claims are rejected or they have to return the money to the IRS, plus potential penalties and interest.

 

“That’s why it’s important to make sure your family and friends are aware of the scam, so that innocent people don’t fall victim to it. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, “said Miller.

 

In general, the IRS pursues enforcement actions against those who promote schemes or entice others to violate the law. The penalty for filing fraudulent returns with the IRS can be up to $5,000. The IRS pursues the organizers of scams and can recommend criminal prosecution.

 

“At the IRS, protecting taxpayer money is a matter we take extremely seriously,” said Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. “An integral part of the agency’s mission involves detecting and catching fraudulent tax refund claims. The object of these schemes is to defraud the government and the taxpaying public."

 

The IRS says taxpayers should be wary of any of the following:

 

• Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on excess or withheld Social Security benefits.

• Claims that Treasury Form 1080 can be used to transfer funds from the Social Security Administration to the IRS enabling a payout from the IRS.

• Unfamiliar for-profit tax services teaming up with local churches.

• Home-made flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.

• Offers of free money with no documentation required.

• Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.”

• Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or Recovery Rebate Credit.

• Advice on using the Earned Income Tax Claims based on exaggerated reports of self-employment income.

• In some cases non-existent Social Security refunds or rebates have been the bait used by the con artists. In other situations, taxpayers deserve the tax credits they are promised but the preparer uses fictitious or inflated information on the return which results in a fraudulent return.

 

Anyone with questions about a tax credit or program should visit www.IRS.gov, call the IRS toll-free number at 800-829-1040 or visit a local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

 

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness Updated:  10/19

» Preps football photos of the week: Week 9 10/17

» Dunn fourth, weather big winner at state golf 10/15

» Brookfield Chick-fil-A grand opening sets sales record 10/14

» Brookfield panel endorses $2.6 million in TIF funding for development near Capitol Airport 10/14

» Falls defense rises to the occasion 10/10

» Preps football photos of the week: Week 8 10/10

» Wisconsin Philharmonic to perform at Wilson Center 10/10

» Submit election letters now: deadline is Oct. 20 10/9

» Brookfield public hearing draws out new objections to North Avenue office building 10/8

» First-place Marquette blanks Lancers, 23-0 10/3

» Preps football photos of the week: Week 7 10/3

» Irgens to host informational meeting on Ruby Farm 10/3

» Falls woman gets 15 months for embezzling to cover gambling debts 10/2

» Enter Halloween contest to win tickets to Legends & Lore 9/30

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 26 9/26

» East emerges from late-game flurry against Hale 9/26

» Proposed Waukesha County budget keeps property taxes flat 9/24

» Elmbrook School District approves 1.7 percent increase for tax levy 9/22

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 19 9/19

» Party City pulls Slender Man Halloween costumes in Wisconsin 9/19

» East nips Lancers, 24-20, to get back into GMC race 9/18

» Man sentenced to 7 years for heroin death 9/18

» Hassless Mattress opens 4 worker-less retail outlets 9/17

» City to draft survey on chicken ordinance 9/16

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss
Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

CONNECT