The following article is sponsored by CAP-UT.
Although death and taxes are often touted as the only things certain in life, you can also count on con artists to appear wherever money is being exchanged. With a process that can be as confusing, frustrating, and laborious as filing your taxes, there are many opportunities for unscrupulous people to take advantage.
Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed:
Read the Fine Print
Many tax preparation services claim to help you file your taxes for free. In reality, they will help you file your federal taxes for free, then charge you to file your state tax return. Make sure you clearly understand what you are getting.
If It’s Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Beware of companies that guarantee a larger refund, claim they can reduce your payments, or get your refund faster – especially if they demand a large payment up front. If you find yourself owing an amount you can’t pay right away, you should contact the IRS directly: (1-800-829-1040)
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait.
Some companies claim they can get your refund to you faster for a fee and your bank account information. Once they have your information, they divert your refund to their account. Taxpayers who use Refund Anticipation Loans pay $75 in order to receive their refund right now, but are subject to interest rates between 60% and 700%!
There are many honest and helpful services available. If you make under $54,000/year, you may be able to get your taxes prepared for free at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site with IRS-certified volunteers. Go to utahtaxhelp.org for more information.