NATIONAL (WCIA) -- A new scam has the IRS warning people to watch out for fake refunds.
Scammers are stealing client data from tax professionals and then filing fraudulent tax returns and depositing the money into the client's account.
They are then using various tactics to reclaim the refunds, such as posing as debt collection officials saying the refund was deposited by mistake.
If you have any questions regarding this scam, you can call the IRS. (800) 829 - 4933
You can also follow the guidelines below for how to deal with this particular scam:
Taxpayers who receive the refunds should follow the steps outlined by Tax Topic Number 161 - Returning an Erroneous Refund. The tax topic contains full details, including mailing addresses should there be a need to return paper checks. By law, interest may accrue on erroneous refunds.
If the erroneous refund was a direct deposit:
- Contact the Automated Clearing House (ACH) department of the bank/financial institution where the direct deposit was received and have them return the refund to the IRS.
- Call the IRS (800) 829 - 1040 (individual) or (800) 829 - 4933 (business) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.
If the erroneous refund was a paper check and hasn't been cashed:
- Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
- Submit the check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below. The location is based on the city (possibly abbreviated) on the bottom text line in front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check.
- Don't staple, bend or paperclip the check.
- Include a note stating, "Return of erroneous refund check because (and give a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund check)."
The erroneous refund was a paper check and you have cashed it:
- Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
- If you no longer have access to a copy of the check, call the IRS (800) 829 - 1040 (individual) or (800) 829 - 4933 (business) (see telephone and local assistance for hours of operation) and explain to the IRS operator you need information to repay a cashed refund check.
- Write on the check/money order: Payment of Erroneous Refund, the tax period for which the refund was issued, and your taxpayer identification number (social security number, employer identification number, or individual taxpayer identification number).
- Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund.
- Repaying an erroneous refund in this manner may result in interest due the IRS.