Honolulu, HI – May 10, 2017: Tax season ended weeks ago, but many people may still have tax-related concerns, from a missing tax refund check to IRS calls and maybe a potential audit. Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau has the tips and resources to help consumers navigate these confusing and potentially scary tax situations.
Missing Tax Refund Check
If a person filed their taxes weeks ago and is expecting a tax refund, but has yet to receive it, they may be wondering where it is and how to go about checking on its status.
If a person is wondering where their tax refund is, here is what they need to do according to the IRS.
Many different things can affect a tax refund. Some tax services may allow a person to pay with their refund. If a person opted for this option, this could cause a minor delay. Also, a paper check rather than direct deposit could take longer.
If at any time a person discovers any strange activity related to their refund or they suspect it may have been stolen, they should contact the IRS immediately at 1-800-829-1040.
The IRS Tax Scam has been the most reported scam nationwide for several years. This scam is most often in the form of a phone call. The caller states that they are with the IRS and they are calling about back taxes due. The caller aggressively tries to intimidate and scare the victim into immediately wiring money to a numbered account.
A twist to the fake IRS call, which is gaining popularity among scammers, involves the scammer using a pre-recorded voice. This pre-recorded voice tells the potential victim that the IRS is trying to contact them and then supplies a number to call back at.
Some red flags that the call a taxpayer receives is a scam include:
When educating consumers about the IRS scam, the BBB marketplace team used to be able to say, “if anyone calls stating that they are with the IRS and you have back taxes due, hang up!” however this is no longer true. The IRS has hired four independent tax collection agencies who will be calling people to collect past due taxes. Both the IRS and the BBB have identified that this may cause some confusion for taxpayers who are not sure whether the call they are receiving is a scam call.
The four companies awarded the contracts to collect on debt are:
Additional resources and precautions in relation to these new regulations can be found on the BBB website.
If a taxpayer receives a call from a private collection agency and has any concerns or wants to file a complaint, the IRS advises taxpayers to contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484, online at tigta.gov or in writing to:
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Hotline, PO Box 595, Ben Franklin Station, Washington DC 20044-0589.
Whether a person has been audited or simply fears they may be at some point, understanding some of the key things that may trigger an audit can help with the stress. Here are 4 IRS audit red flags according to TurboTax.
If a taxpayer does face an audit here are some things they can expect.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 70 years, Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.