Like most Missouri residents, you diligently file and pay your taxes every year. Even when you can’t pay an amount you owe, you enter into some form of agreement with the IRS in order to satisfy the amount.
The IRS often warns taxpayers of scams that could affect them and their status with the agency. A recently published report indicates that the instances of tax fraud coming from the dark web are on the rise, and you could become a victim.
What the report indicates
The report, called the Carbon Black report, reveals the following:
- Even a hacker with little experience can file a false income tax return, purchase access to an authenticated U.S. bank account, claim a tax refund and then cash it out through to cryptocurrency, all for $1,000.
- Hackers can now provide identity information, a photo of someone with a forged passport and scans of the necessary forged identity documents — for a price, of course.
- The cost of W-2s and 1040s available on the dark web has dropped to as little as $1.04 and as high as $52.
- The cost of birthdates and social security numbers available on the dark web now ranges from $0.19 to $62.
- The dark web provides guidebooks teaching people how to cash out on other people’s tax returns and refunds.
Even the higher prices are cheap considering the potential earnings from filing fraudulent income tax returns. If someone purchases your information, it’s not the thief who will potentially pay the price — it’s you.
You need serious support for this serious issue
If you do receive a notice from the IRS, you should take it seriously. You may believe you’ve done nothing wrong, but according to the agency, you did. Any allegations of tax fraud need your immediate attention. Otherwise, you could pay dearly for someone else’s treachery. In addition to fines, penalties and interest, you could face imprisonment.
The sooner you address the issue, the sooner an investigation can begin in order to clear your name. Dealing with the IRS is usually a complex process. You do not have to go through this alone. In fact, you shouldn’t. Having the right kind of representation is just as important. More than likely, a criminal defense attorney will not have the familiarity with tax law to properly assist you. Instead, looking to a tax attorney could provide you with the assistance you need to get through this.