Don’t Get Scammed on Your 2015 Tax Return

tax return; tax scam

Don’t Get Scammed on Your 2015 Tax Return

By Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA (tax)
Managing Partner
Greenstein Rogoff Olsen & Co. LLP

It’s tax season and for a lot of people that can be a very scary time of year. Some people will attempt to go it alone and use an online tax program, while others will go the old fashion way and paper file. Still, others turn to professional help to make sure they get the job done right. For many, trying to decipher and understand the IRS’s tax codes and policies is like trying to explain what salt tastes like without using the word salty. In other words, it’s basically impossible.

Scammers Abound

To make matters worse, and another aspect of taxes that can give a lot of people angst, is the fact that this time of year there are always a lot of people who are looking for easy victims to scam via their tax returns. The IRS warns taxpayers every year to be aware of these kinds of scams, yet inevitably scammers find plenty of people to prey on every year. They use many different tactics and methods, which is why you should educate and arm yourself in order to avoid them.

Beware of These Tricks

Let’s take a look at some of the most common schemes that these scammers use.

Abusing Trusts – beware of preparers who try to set up trusts solely to hide money from the IRS. This is a good way to catch the IRS’s eye and there will be repercussions.
Claiming Zero Wages – make sure you don’t fall for this plan to hide your true wages. It might take a little longer, but the IRS will eventually discover your fraud by comparing the real information received from employers and 1099 contractors.
Don’t Have to File – despite many claims to the contrary, everyone has to file a tax return and all kinds of income are subject to incomes taxes. If someone tells you otherwise, they are incorrect. The IRS has stiffer penalties for those who don’t file than they do for those who file false returns.
False Charity – don’t be fooled by fake charitable organizations. These scammers prey on giving people who want to help a good cause. If you donate money to a bogus charity, not only will your money not go to a good cause, you won’t get a tax deduction for it either.
Fraudulent Preparers – don’t get fooled by a sketchy tax preparer. Some prepares will try to keep more of your return for themselves and some will flat out file false returns in order to profit from them. Stay way from any preparer who uses shady tactics.
GROCO Has You Covered This Tax Season

The really scary thing is that if you end up being the victim of one of these scams, you might not only lose your refund or have your identity stolen, but if the IRS discovers improprieties in your return, you could also be held accountable even if you had no idea it was happening. That is a risky proposition. It also means that it’s a good idea to trust your taxes to a professional, like our experienced team at GROCO. Please contact us for help with any of your tax planning or preparation needs. Just click here or give us a call at 1-877-CPA-2006.

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Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.


Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.



The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business.

Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most.

They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

Creating purpose in life / Building a foundation for their life / Solving problems / Finding fulfillment through philanthropy and service / Becoming self-reliant / Enhancing effective leadership / Balancing family and work…

Untitled_Artwork copy 4 (Also sponsored by GROCO) provides free access to content and world-class entrepreneurs, influencers and thought leaders’ personal success stories. To help you find your path in life to true, sustainable success & happiness.  It’s mission statement:

In an increasingly complex and difficult world, we hope to help you find your personal path in life and build a strong foundation by learning how others found success and happiness. True and sustainable success and happiness are different for each one of us but possible, often despite significant challenges.

Our mission at is to provide resources and firsthand accounts of how others found their paths in life, so you can do the same.

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