Money Monday: Unclaimed federal income tax refunds waiting to be claimed

8 Silly Tax Goof-Ups That Will Delay Your IRS Refund

Instead of routing the fraudulent tax refunds to a separate account, the suspects instead direct the funds to the victim's real bank accounts through direct deposit, the IRS says. There are tremendous benefits and conveniences to this, of course, but there are also some downsides such as the increased risk of identity theft that arises as we share more of our personal information online. The most common con involves telling the victim that they're under investigation for tax fraud and that they'll be arrested if they don't pay a bogus back tax bill immediately.

The caller gives you a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.

Taxpayers in the United States will have two extra days this year to file their tax returns.

With the income tax filing deadline a little more than a month away, the Internal Revenue Service has released its annual 2018 "Dirty Dozen" report, a list of scams circulating at any time during the year, but peaking during tax season. The fraudster then calls the taxpayer, saying the refund was deposited in error and threatens to send the matter to a collection agency if the taxpayer doesn't "return" the money by sending it to the fraudster.

If this notice applies to you, there a few things to consider.

The Revenue Department and IRS will never call demanding immediate payment of past-due taxes. Any of these scenarios is a strong indication that you may be the victim of tax identity theft. The thieves then contact you, often by phone, and - posing as the IRS or debt collectors for the IRS - demand you return the money to the IRS. "You can hang up the phone and contact the IRS directly and ask if you owe them money".

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In another version, after you get that erroneous refund, you get an automated call, allegedly from the IRS, threatening you with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant, and "blacklisting" of your Social Security number.

If someone is the victim of a scam or gets contacted by someone they think is an IRS impersonator, they should reach out to the Department of Revenue.

Like any swindle, it is always better to take steps to prevent identity theft from happening than to react to it after the fact.

There are some circumstances in which your refund may take longer.

Federal law allows tax payers a three-year window for claiming a tax refund.



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