Liberty Tax Service encourages taxpayers to research charities before donating their hard-earned monty, as the IRS has identified fake charities as one of its Dirty Dozen Tax Scams designed to steal money and personal information.
The IRS has offered these tips for taxpayers who make charitable contributions:
Be wary of charities with names or websites that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Taxpayers can find qualified charities by visiting IRS.gov and using Select Check.
Don’t give out personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers or passwords to anyone who solicits a contribution, and be careful when disclosing credit card numbers. Confirm that those soliciting a donations are calling from a legitimate charity.
Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.
Taxpayers should also be on guard, especially following a major disaster. The IRS has said that scammers often call or email taxpayers after such disasters to solicit money or personal information. They may even contact disaster victims and claim to be working with the IRS to help the victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.
The IRS has a toll-free disaster assistance phone number, 866-562-5227, where taxpayers can ask questions about tax-related disaster relief. Taxpayers can also call or visit their nearest Liberty Tax office for information about charitable contributions or disaster-related tax relief.
To find a local Liberty Tax office, call 866-871-1040 or visit www.libertytax.com. Liberty Tax does take appointments, but they are not necessary.