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Santa Stash 2017

Beware of Tax Day Scams

KSAL Staff - April 18, 2017 7:57 am

Time is running out to file your 2016 Income Tax Return before the midnight deadline.
In addition to several for-profit companies, last-minute filers can also use the free online file service from the IRS. Some taxpayers may be eligible to use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Center. However, K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist, Elizabeth Kiss,  says doing nothing is not an option.
“If you can’t pay on time, you do need to complete your return, and pay what you can. You can request a payment arrangement through the IRS. The thing that you do not want to do is not do anything.”
Although you can file an extension for getting your finished paperwork to the IRS, interest on any amount due, not paid by April 18th, will begin to accrue. Options and payment plans from the IRS are available online.
If you get an unsolicited phone call regarding your taxes, Kiss says it’s most likely a scam.
“The government is very clear, they don’t typically contact people by phone, they definitely don’t ask you for money over the phone, and they don’t tell you to wire money or send debit cards, or things like that.”
Kiss has some advice for handling those unsolicited calls. “Your goal, if you get one of those calls and you’re not sure, even if it sounds somewhat credible, is to slow it down and ask for information without giving information.”
The IRS is also warning of increased email and phishing scams and reminding taxpayers that sensitive data will never be requested via email.
More options and resources for last-minute filers can be found at irs.gov.
The reason the tax filing deadline is three days later than normal is because the 15th fell on Saturday and Washington, D.C. Emancipation Day was yesterday, forcing the deadline to be pushed back to April 18th.
Story by: Jeff Wichman / Kansas State University
City of Salina