The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that 30,445,000 tax returns were filed electronically in 2007, with online filings outnumbering paper returns by more than 5 to 1. And as the buzz surrounding online filing increases, so do the odds of getting scammed. As taxpayers wait for their refund checks, they need to be extra vigilant that any notices they receive about their tax returns actually come from the IRS. Phishing scams abound that mimic IRS notices to try to get bank account and other personal information from taxpayers who can easily become victims. The scams are expected to stay prevalent even after the immediate end of tax filing on April 15 due to the government's recently announced economic stimulus plan that will provide rebates of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for married couples filing jointly, says Angelo Comazzetto, product evangelist for Astaro Corp. But the IRS does not initiate communications with taxpayers via email, though it asks for an email address on the current version of Form 1040.
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