Time is running out to turn in taxes, but recently Senator Mark Udall and Attorney General John Suthers are reminding Coloradans to be aware.
Tax scanners can steal refund checks and cause trouble with the IRS.
There are many ways to find out if your tax-preparer is legitimate.
Some tips include avoiding preparers who claim to get you larger refunds, those who base their fees on a percentage of the return and never signing a blank form.
Grand Junction local resident, Daryll Powell said tax season can be a stressful time for Americans, "This is something I’m not going to take a chance on."
Powell has been using the same tax-preparation company for years, "I show up, anal attentive, I’ve got all my ducks in a line. It’s easy for me."
For other Coloradans, tax-preparation fraud is a big concern.
Gina Hallman is a CPA and Senior Accountant for Chadwick, Steinkirchner, Davis & Co. (CSD), "It would be hard to tell because there are quite a few legitimate tax paying outlets that only operate during this time of the year."
She says her company works hard to maintain its reputation and reassure clients that their private information is kept safe, "If they start to guess... then it’s probably time to contact a professional."
If consumers are worried they can always check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Connie Quillen from the BBB said, "BBB in the local area, being in the southwest Colorado has not seen any cases of tax-preparation fraud as of yet. However keep in mind that tax season is not over and most of the time we do not receive complaints until toward the end of and sometimes after tax season.”
In 2012, the IRS doubled its employees and protected about $20 billion of fraudulent refunds.
This gives some comfort to those like Powell who want to make sure their taxes are done right, "I'm not going to try and do it on my own."
April 15th is the deadline for taxpayers to file their returns. This year about 75% of Americans are expected to receive a refund from the IRS.