CONSUMER FILE

Tax preparation pointers

Mar 7, 2018, 12:00 PM | Updated: 8:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Have you jumped into your 2017 tax return yet? Here are three tips that will protect you and your refund from fraud this tax season.

RESEARCH YOUR TAX PREPARER

If you’re going to hire someone to do your taxes, choose carefully. The IRS says we are responsible, even if the preparer goofed on our tax return.

Make sure the whomever you choose has a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) from the IRS. You’ll find it on IRS.gov along with a searchable list of preparers who face suspension or other actions.  Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints.  In other words, make sure they have a good track record.

FILE YOUR TAX RETURN EARLY

We have until April 17 this year to file our taxes. But we shouldn’t wait until Tax Day.

The risk for tax return fraud has gone way, way up after the Equifax data breach, where hackers stole personal and financial info on 143 million Americans.  You can avoid a stolen refund by beating the scammers to the punch. File as early as you can and don’t file anything on public WiFi.

WATCH OUT FOR IMPOSTORS

Bad guys also pose as tax agents and call threatening people with arrest for past-due taxes. They’ve raked in more than $54 million, so far, with this scam.

To make their scam seem more legitimate, the criminals often “spoof” their caller IDs to make their calls look like they’re coming from the IRS. They’ll often demand to be paid in gift cards, money orders or prepaid debit cards.

Remember, the IRS never calls or emails to demand immediate payment.

FILE YOUR TAXES FOR FREE

If you made $66,000 or less last year, you can file your taxes online for free. A dozen tax prep companies like H&R Block, TaxAct and TaxSlayer have partnered with the IRS’ Free File program.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Consumer File

...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

GPS gadgets and other devices that can help parents keep tabs on their children

Moms and dads have all sorts of gadget options that can help their peace of mind while keeping tabs on their kids.
10 months ago
...
Dan Spindle, KSL TV

How to stream Utah college football games

Here's how you can still watch your favorite teams on the gridiron without the expensive satellite or cable package.
10 months ago
A US government agency issued an "urgent warning" for users of Peloton's Tread+ following multiple ...
Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Peloton Tread+ Owners Told To Stop Using Treadmill In ‘Urgent Warning’

A US government agency issued an "urgent warning" for users of Peloton's Tread+ following multiple dangerous incidents with the machine, including a child's death.
1 year ago
...
Matt Gephardt, KSL TV

Gephardt: Gas Company Resumes Disconnecting Delinquents, Vows To Help Customers

Dominion Energy decided in March to cease disconnecting those who didn't pay their gas bills, but that program only runs through mid-July.
2 years ago
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images...
Dan Spindle, KSL TV

Utah Housing Market Good For Buyers & Sellers Despite Pandemic

Even considering the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, the laws of supply and demand were in full swing in Utah for the housing market.
2 years ago
Pedestrians pass in front of a Nordstrom Inc. store in the Midtown neighborhood of New York, U.S., ...
Alaa Elassar, CNN

Nordstrom Sews More Than 100,000 Face Masks For Health Care Workers

Nordstrom, an American luxury retailer based in Seattle, is sewing more than 100,000 masks that will be sanitized before being distributed to healthcare workers across the country.
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.