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Keep Calm and File on Time! Tax Season Tips Help Taxpayers Avoid Scams and Stress with Just Two Weeks Left to File

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today offered late-season tax filing tips to help taxpayers avoid scams and stress as the April 18 deadline approaches.
 
With just two weeks remaining, roughly 4 million New Yorkers have yet to submit their tax returns.

“As we near the end of the filing season, it’s critical that taxpayers remain vigilant against scammers and identity thieves,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. “Don’t let the pressure of the tax deadline get in the way of protecting your personal and financial information.”

Protect yourself and your information

To help New Yorkers protect themselves, Commissioner Boone offers these tips: 

• Be on guard—Thieves posing as IRS agents or Tax Department employees use this time of year to prey on taxpayers. Their tactics can become aggressive and threatening, which isn’t how the Tax Department or the IRS will speak to taxpayers. Their tone is a clue that they’re imposters.

Be sure you only give your personal information—including your social security number—to someone you trust. Remember, the Tax Department and the IRS will always send you a letter before contacting you by phone about a tax debt. Don’t agree to meet anyone in person who claims to be a tax representative and insists you pay a debt.

• Beware of “phishing” emails—Taxpayers may receive emails showing fictitious government logos that offer assistance in settling fake tax issues. The Tax Department and the IRS will never request personal or financial information by email.

Taxpayers can protect themselves against these bogus emails by not clicking on any links and instead going straight to the IRS or Tax Department website.

• Avoid identity theft—Your tax return contains personal information, including your social security and bank account numbers. To prevent your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands, only give it to a tax preparer you trust and regularly monitor your bank account for suspicious activity.

• Report it—If you believe that you’ve been contacted by a scammer, have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, or suspect a tax preparer is engaging in illegal activities, visit the Tax Department’s new fraud webpage to learn how to make an anonymous report. The Tax Department takes this type of illegal activity seriously, promptly reviews each complaint and takes corrective action when appropriate.

For more information
• Tax scams and consumer alerts
• Check your refund status
• Daily return and refund statistics

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