How To Avoid Being Scammed At Tax Time If You’re A Small Business Owner

More than most likely, when the first of the year arrives it can bring a slight amount of unwanted stress if you're a small business owner. The reason is because tax time is gearing up and you'll want to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row to properly file taxes. Because there are several things to consider when filing, along with the paperwork needed to crunch numbers accurately, it's may be wise to leave it to the professionals. The main goal is to ensure your taxes are filed accurately, but you'll want to avoid scams at the same time. Here are a few ways to ensure reputable tax preparation services.

Avoid Doing Your Taxes Online

There are countless tax preparation software programs and online companies that are geared toward helping you get your refund faster. While most of them are legitimate and they are upfront about all of their fees, some of them are not. Be careful when doing your taxes online because a business running an undercover scam could be in disguise to appear like another company. The names may be the same, but the phone numbers and contact information will be different. This is a type of phishing technique and identity scam to lure in consumers and steal their personal and business information. If something doesn't look right, don't give them any of your information. 

Call A Local Accounting Firm

Talk with other business owners. Do they use an accounting or tax preparation service in town? Chances are if a business has a good, solid reputation with other businesses, it's safe to hand over your personal information. With a team of tax professionals and accountants, they are no stranger to crunching numbers, balancing your year-end bank statements and requesting precise information about your annual business finances. This will ensure that your taxes are filed correctly and promptly. 

Don't Give Out Personal Information Over The Phone

Many tax-time scammers love to solicit over the phone or email. They may insist that they are connected through the IRS or the State Treasury Department, when in fact they may be impersonating a government or other type of tax representative. If they ask for your social security number or other personal numbers, hang up immediately or don't respond.

Make Sure The Services Are On Your Terms

If you walk into a tax preparation business and they are adamant about you using their banking services or having you sign up for new financial services, maybe you should stay clear. A reputable tax preparation business or tax refund company will not push to sell you on more of their services. There can be many hidden fees when you use their services to access your tax refund. Some companies may lure small business owners into obtaining a new debit card or bank account through a financial company they use. 

Being scammed is an unfortunate event because it can affect both your personal and business lifestyle for years to come. Take your time and choose a well-known tax preparation service that you feel comfortable with.