Taxes are fees paid to the government to pay for things like roads, schools, the military, and social services like Medicaid and SNAP. The amount of taxes an individual pays is based on income and family size. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collects taxes for the nation and The Georgia Department of Revenue collects taxes for the state.
Taxes are due every year on April 15th. It is important that tax returns are filled out on time and correctly to avoid paying the wrong amount of taxes or penalties. Reputable organizations, like the IRS, offer free help.
COMMON TAX SCAMS
- People pretending to be the IRS or other government officials, like the police, call and claim you owe the IRS money or are owed a refund. These people can make their phone numbers imitate the IRS phone number and may bully you and tell you that you will be fined or arrested for not complying. The IRS will not call and threaten you! If you receive a phone call from the IRS, politely hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
- These are emails and websites that look real but are fake. They ask for
personal information, like Social Security or Alien Identification numbers, and use it to steal identities. The IRS and Georgia Department of Revenue will not send emails, texts, or social media messages! Do not respond to tax emails from anyone and do not use websites you do not know and trust. If you receive one of these emails, report it by forwarding it to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Free Money Promises
- People pose as tax preparers and claim they can help get higher tax refunds.
These people may (1) charge high fees, (2) steal identities, (3) file false claims using your name, (4) not give you a copy of your tax return, or (5) take all of your refund. Honest tax preparers will put their Identification Number on your tax return and will not make promises to get you a lot of money! Only use tax preparers that you trust.
- False Claims
- People pose as tax preparers and suggest filing false information on tax returns to get more money or benefits or to avoid paying taxes or losing benefits. Honest tax preparers will ask for proof of income and exemptions and will never suggest you lie on your tax return! You are legally responsible for your tax return, even if someone else helps you fill it out, and can face fines and jail for intentionally lying.
AARP Tax Aide
An AARP program that provides free tax preparation for low and moderate income individuals and families. Go to the website to find a local Tax Aide location.
Georgia Department of Revenue Website
Provides services in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian.
IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
An IRS program that provides free tax preparation by qualified volunteers for individuals and families earning $52,000 per year or less. Go to the website or call the phone number to find a local VITA location.
IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
An IRS program that provides free tax preparation for individuals who are 60 years and older by qualified volunteers who specialize in the unique tax needs of the elderly. Go to the website or call the phone number to find a local TCE location.