Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Beware of 'IRS' scams

By Jen Haley, producer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Tax season is winding down, but scam artists are still hard at work.

Some of the biggest scams, according to the IRS, include phishing e-mails from scam artists pretending to be from the agency.

"This week we're very busy processing returns, trying to get refunds quickly," says IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman. "We're not doing outreach. Make sure that if you're giving sensitive information to anyone that it is the person they claim to be. We're not sending e-mails out to people," he says.

In fact, the IRS never sends e-mails. If there is information that's needed, you'll be contacted by mail at first and then by phone if necessary.

Next year the IRS is going to be regulating tax preparers. Right now tax prep fraud is a big problem. But make sure you recognize the signs of a questionable tax preparer.

Here are some red flags: first, if the tax preparer claims they can get you an unusually large refund, compared to what other tax preparers are offering.

If the preparer's fee is based on a percentage of the refund, that is a red flag.

Or, if you're asked to sign a blank form -- beware. Reputable preparers will ask for receipts and will ask questions to determine what deductions are appropriate.

And don't believe outlandish arguments that it's voluntary to file your taxes. Or myths that if you don't file your taxes, the government will do it for you.

These falsehoods have been around for a while and it won't let you get out of filing your taxes -- or paying Uncle Sam.

If you suspect any kind of fraud, call 800-829-1040 or visit the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov.

Talkback: Are you expecting a tax refund? To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.45%3.48%
15 yr fixed2.70%2.72%
5/1 ARM3.01%2.95%
30 yr refi3.47%3.51%
15 yr refi2.72%2.74%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,162.35 -40.27 -0.22%
Nasdaq 5,241.83 -4.58 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.34 -2.95 -0.14%
Treasuries 1.75 -0.01 -0.29%
Data as of 5:41pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Chesapeake Energy Co... 6.91 0.19 2.83%
Bank of America Corp... 16.56 0.09 0.55%
eBay Inc 29.02 -3.50 -10.76%
Microsoft Corp 57.25 -0.28 -0.49%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 10.21 0.19 1.90%
Data as of 4:15pm ET


Elizabeth Warren fired off a letter on Thursday asking Wells Fargo whether new CEO Tim Sloan played a role in the bank's creation of as many as 2 million fake accounts. More

U.S. attorney Preet Bharara spoke to a room full of bankers about the importance of integrity in the financial system. More

The University of Illinois partnered with Coursera to launch one of the most affordable online MBA programs yet. More