A new year brings on many things: resolutions, goals, growing habits, and taxes.
That’s right, tax season is upon us once again! With endless forms, new obligations from major life-changes, and impending deadlines; filing your taxes can be a challenge. Add in the risk of fraud and scams and the season can start to feel overwhelming.
But tax season doesn’t have to be a chore!
As a financial institution, we play an important role in preventing fraud and educating our customers on the proper steps to take while filing. Here’s what we think you need to know while heading into tax season:
Schemes, Scams, and Cons, Oh My!
You’ve heard the phrase “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. This warning applies to all types of fraud but is especially relevant during tax season. Not paying your taxes or completing them incorrectly can result in penalties, prosecution, or even imprisonment so it’s imperative that you remain vigilant of schemes that offer instant rewards or unexpected exemptions.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you should be careful when choosing a tax preparer, lookout for unintentional involvement in schemes, and learn the truth about tax arguments. This is the best way to avoid falling victim to tax fraud.
Tax Planning is the Best Defense
Tax Day always come quicker than anticipated. Whether you are filing your own taxes, using a third-party preparer, or hiring a consultant, tax planning is for everybody. By starting the process of logging into your account, gathering your records, and learning about changes to your filing ahead of time, you can expect an accurate return and a timely refund.
Waiting until the last minute to do your taxes is so last year, especially if you are completing them on your own. We suggest you take your time while collecting and entering your information. Mistakes can slow down the process, require extra work to reconcile, and can even cause long-term penalties. Speeding through filing (and looking for a quick fix) can also make you more susceptible to fraud schemes.
Understand This Bank Failsafe
Check and deposit fraud is at an all-time high. Mix that with tax season and banks are inundated with fraudulent activity. To protect our customers and the institution, we verify that the name(s) on an income tax refund check or direct deposit matches the name(s) on the account the item is being deposited to. If the name(s) on a direct deposit does not match the account owner(s), we will return the funds to the IRS.
For example, Susan Jones files jointly with her husband, Steve. Both of their names are on the tax refund. Susan should not direct her deposit funds into an account with only her name on it. Susan should deposit the funds into an account that belongs to both her and Steve. Reach out to a BOS Customer Care Representative with any questions
Follow these tips to make sure your electronic tax refund deposit goes smoothly:
- Prepare your bank routing number and account number.
- Check that the ownership of your account matches your tax return. If you have a joint tax return, you must deposit it into a joint banking account.
- Double check your routing information, account number, and ownership.
- If you are unsure, ask your bank representative questions before submitting your tax return.
All in all, do your due diligence while filing your taxes. You will thank yourself next year!
Prefer to get a physical refund check but don’t have to time to stop by the bank? Use your BOS Mobile Banking App to deposit the check anytime, anywhere. Click here to learn more!