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Avoid a scam this tax season

Tax season tends to come with fake calls and scams.

TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) - Things like scams can make the burden of tax season even worse.

Experts say it's all about being on top of your taxes and knowing the signs of a fake call or scam.

"They called me Frankel then Jon,” said Jon Frankel, a Sylvania resident who was at his CPA’s office Wednesday. "You realize he said the wrong name."

John Monaghan, a Certified Public Accountant, said fake calls from someone pretending to be the Internal Revenue Service happen a lot during tax season.

"The IRS will not just call you out of the blue," said John Monaghan, a CPA at VZN Group. "If you're someone who has always paid their taxes you won't get a call like that."

The IRS would send you a letter with specifics to your situation.

"They would tell you they are going to send the information to be able to dispute whether it's legitimate or not," said Monaghan.

Monaghan said this is just one of the common mistakes people make during tax time, "Itemized deduction is if you own a home you can claim your real estate taxes, your mortgage interest, your charitable contributions."

The IRS has been working to cut down on theft. Instead of returning a fraudulent claim, they will send a letter to tax payers saying the activity is unusual. It’s then up to you to prove your identity.

This year is a bit different for CPA’s because of some recent changes.

"The standard deduction goes from 12,000 to 13,000 and up to 24,000," said Monaghan. "Personal exemption goes away and is included in that 24,000."

The key to a successful tax year is looking where you can save or cut back.

"If you're contributing to a 401k you don't miss it as much if you're doing small increments at a time," said Monaghan.

Monaghan said you should meet a CPA in person if you’re not clear on all your finances. It's also helpful to start as soon as possible.

“I like to get my taxes done in time and soon,” said Frankel.

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