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Avoid Fraudulent Advice From Unscrupulous Tax Preparers

Tax season can be stressful. Between gathering documents, understanding complex forms, and maximizing your return, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous tax preparers and promoters prey on this vulnerability, making big promises and charging high fees for fraudulent schemes.

This article will equip you with the knowledge to avoid tax scams and ensure you file an accurate return. We’ll also discuss the importance of using reputable tax professionals.

The High Cost of Tax Scams

While tempting, those “guaranteed big refund” offers often come at a hefty price. Unscrupulous tax preparers and promoters may:

  • Inflate your refund by including false or misleading information on your return. This can lead to hefty penalties and interest from the IRS if caught.
  • Charge exorbitant fees for their services, even if they end up getting you into trouble.
  • Steal your personal information for future scams or identity theft.

Common Tax Scams to Watch Out For

Be wary of these specific schemes often used by tax scammers:

  • Employee Retention Credit (ERC) Fraud: Scammers exploit the legitimate ERC program, promising inflated refunds to businesses that didn’t qualify. The IRS has cracked down on these schemes, and those involved may face severe consequences.

  • Fuel Tax Credit Misuse: This credit is only for off-highway business use, not personal vehicles. Don’t be fooled by promises of claiming it for your everyday commute.
  • Fake Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): Scammers may suggest fabricating self-employment income to qualify for the EITC. This is illegal and can lead to serious tax problems.
  • High-Income Taxpayer Scams: These often involve complex financial instruments like charitable remainder trusts or installment sales, misused to avoid taxes illegally.
  • Bogus Tax Avoidance Strategies: Schemes like micro-captive insurance arrangements or fake conservation easements are complex and often illegal ways to reduce tax liability.
  • International Tax Evasion: Scammers may promote strategies to hide income or assets overseas. Remember, the IRS has significant resources to track down international tax evasion.

The Importance of Taxpayer Responsibility

Remember, regardless of what a preparer or promoter tells you, you are ultimately responsible for the information on your tax return. When you sign that document, you’re under oath that everything is accurate.

Protect Yourself with Reputable Tax Professionals

The best way to avoid tax scams is to work with a reputable tax professional. Here are some tips for finding a trustworthy preparer:

  • Ask family, friends, and colleagues for recommendations.
  • Check with the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for credentialed professionals in your area.
  • Interview potential preparers and ask about their experience, qualifications, and fees.
  • Never sign a blank return or one you haven’t reviewed thoroughly.
  • Be wary of preparers who guarantee specific results or make promises that sound too good to be true.


Tax season doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By educating yourself about tax scams and working with a reputable tax professional, you can ensure you’re filing an accurate return and maximizing your legal deductions and credits. Remember, a little caution can save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Here at JS Morlu LLC, we offer a team of experienced and qualified tax professionals committed to providing accurate and ethical tax preparation and planning services. Contact us today for a free consultation and peace of mind this tax season.

JS Morlu LLC is a top-tier accounting firm based in Woodbridge, Virginia, with a team of highly experienced and qualified CPAs and business advisors. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive accounting, tax, and business advisory services to clients throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and the surrounding regions. With over a decade of experience, we have cultivated a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and aspirations. We recognize that our clients seek more than just value-added accounting services; they seek a trusted partner who can guide them towards achieving their business goals and personal financial well-being.
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