COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Time is running out!
The deadline to file 2022 tax returns with the IRS is April 18, 2023. And the agency has some reminders, and warnings, for last-minute filers.
“The main thing is protecting your information,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent Tony Westendorf. “You are the first line of defense against that.”
Westendorf said that starts with knowing how the agency communicates with taxpayers.
“Knowing that if I receive a social media message from the IRS or an email with a link, saying it’s from the IRS or a text message… don’t click those,” Westendorf said. “That’s usually going to be some sort of malware.”
If the IRS does need to get ahold of you, Westendorf said that communication will happen through the mail and rarely over the phone.
“If someone’s calling you and threatening legal action against you, or demanding payment via gift card, the IRS won’t do anything like that,” he said.
Westendorf also said using a tax preparation service can help cut down on cons and confusion, as long as you pick a person or agency you trust who is open year-round to answer any follow-up questions.
He warned, however, it’s critical for you to know and understand what’s on your return before it’s submitted and to never put your signature on a blank return.
“If you’re signing a blank return, you don’t know what’s going on there. Your preparer could put anything on there,” Westendorf said. “You want to sign the complete and final return.”
Westendorf said once you sign and submit the return, you are the one who is responsible for it.