State Attorney General’s office offers tips to avoid IRS tax scams

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The State Attorney General’s Office offers tips to avoid IRS tax scams.

The New Mexico Attorney General’s office is urging New Mexicans to be vigilant this tax season as they begin to prepare and file their federal and state taxes.

Among the tips:

The IRS will never contact anyone by phone, nor will they threaten jail time. Expect all correspondence through the mail.

Since many consumers will use the services of accounting and tax professionals this tax season, the Attorney General reminds consumers to do their homework when choosing and retaining a tax professional or tax preparer. In particular, all CPAs offering professional tax services in New Mexico must be licensed by the New Mexico Public Accountancy Board.

CPA licenses can be verified by visiting the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department website at www.rld.state.nm.us.

A tax preparer offering services to consumers must provide a Preparers Tax Identification Number (PTIN) upon request. Attorney General Balderas advised consumers to make sure that a tax preparer actually signs the consumer’s prepared return; it should never say “self-prepared,” and consumers should never sign a blank return.  Paid preparers are not allowed to deduct fees from or reduce refund related to a prepared return. If the preparer does not offer IRS direct deposit but instead offers a “bank product” such as loading the refund onto a debit card or other financial instrument or allows consumers to pay later (with their refund, for example,) consumers can end up paying high fees. If the consumer elects IRS check or direct deposit the paid preparer cannot take fees from the refund, but preparers can use third-party banks to load fees and the third party banks can charge consumers high fees for the service.

For more information, visit the AG’s website.