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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Each year, taxpayers’ personal information is compromised through phishing scams or by unscrupulous tax preparers. IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) wants taxpayers to be aware of tax-related fraud.

“IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to protecting Nevada taxpayers from financial harm,” stated IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Albert Childress. “We want to remind U.S. taxpayers about ways they can protect their wallets and personal information.”

The IRS offered these ten tips to help taxpayers avoid fraud this tax season:

  • Choose a tax preparer wisely. Look for a preparer who is available year-round.
  • Ask your tax preparer for their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). All paid preparers are required to have one.
  • Don’t use a ghost preparer. They won’t sign a tax return they prepare for you.
  • Don’t fall victim to tax preparers’ promises of large refunds. Taxpayers must pay their fair share of taxes.
  • Don’t sign a blank tax return. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for what appears on tax returns filed with the IRS.
  • Make sure you receive your refund. Your refund should be deposited into your bank account, not your tax preparer’s.
  • The IRS will not call you threatening legal action. If you receive a call like this, hang up.
  • Don’t respond to text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS. They may contain malware that could compromise your personal information.
  • Don’t click links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or text messages about your tax return. These messages are fraudulent.
  • Protect your personal and financial information. Never provide this information in response to unsolicited text messages, emails or social media posts claiming to be the IRS.

Tax season kicked off on Monday, Jan. 24, which is 17 days earlier than last year,

The deadline for filing tax returns is Monday, April 18 this year, three days later than the typical April 15 deadline for filing taxes. The later date is a result of an Emancipation Holiday in the District of Columbia. By law, in Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone the same way federal holidays do.

Taxpayers requesting an extension will have to file until Monday, Oct.17.

For more tips to help prepare for the 2021 tax season. Visit the IRS website here.