Financial Planning | Taxation

Tax season’s over, but threat of fraud remains

Cheers Tax season is almost over, thank God. One commenter on Rick Telberg's CPA Trendlines blog described it as the "toughest, most grueling tax season in 30 years as a CPA."

So it's time for CPAs everywhere to chill out, grab a cold one and toast a job well done.

Despite the economy and an avalance of new tax legislation, though, Telberg says one in three CPAs surveyed say this tax season was better than last year's. Twenty-two percent said it was worse and 45 percent said it was "about the same."

Whatever your perceptions, raise those glasses, folks. You deserve it!

The recession is having its tax-related impacts in other ways, though.

A new Associated Press poll found that 54 percent of taxpayers who are receiving refunds plan to use the money to pay off debts like credit card, utility and housing bills. That's probably not what the politicians want to hear, but it's music to the ears of financial planners everywhere.

The economic downturn also has lured scammers out from underneath their rocks, and they're slithering around with a bevy of recession-related schemes. The Internal Revenue Service's annual list of the "Dirty Dozen" tax scams includes recession-related "phishing" scams as well as the usual schemes that center around frivolous arguments, offshore transactions and dishonest return preparers.

The lesson: Even though tax season is over, the bid for financial literacy and the fight against tax fraud roll on.

How are you celebrating the end of tax season?


Bill Sheridan