An I-R-S spokeswoman says you need to be on guard this week for phone calls, mail and e-mails from scam artists who are posing as agents of the Internal Revenue Service. Sue Hales says thieves are working this week of the federal tax deadline to dupe people into giving up their checking and savings account numbers — and whatever else they might get. Hales says “Unscrupulous individuals send bank customers fictitious correspondence and I-R-S forms in an attempt to trick them into disclosing their personal financial data.” She says if you get e-mail from someone who claims to be with the I-R-S, that’s very likely someone trying to take your money. She says the I-R-S doesn’t deal via e-mail and wouldn’t e-mail someone asking for that kind of information. The agency has compiled a “dirty dozen” list of schemes that people can watch for which can be seen at “www.irs.gov”. For Iowans who are just finishing up their federal returns, Hales says bad math is the number-one error that causes delays in getting refund checks. She says to check over all of your figures — and don’t forget obvious things. Make sure all of your names and Social Security numbers are listed on the return for yourself, your spouse and all of your dependents. More Iowans have electronically-filed, or e-filed, their taxes every year the past several years. Hales says the process has a number of advantages — not the least of which is a faster refund. She says you’ll also get confirmation from the I-R-S within 48 hours that your return has been received. Plus, she says e-filing is much more accurate than paper-filed returns. For more information, call 800-TAX-1040.
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