Attorney General John Bruning is warning Nebraskans to be wary of tax relief scams that hit especially hard during tax season.
Bruning says to looks out for companies that are charging upfront fees in exchange for tax debt relief or elimination.
He said, "In some cases, these companies don't even file the proper paperwork with the IRS. If they do, most taxpayers will not qualify for the promised debt reductions. In the end, consumers who contract with these scammers are left with little to show for the fees they paid and have less financial resources than they started with."
Bruning warns that regardless of what tax-relief is promised, total tax-debt forgiveness rarely occurs. He says the IRS may offer reductions for penalties due to hardship conditions, but he warns that is a rare situation.
Bruning advises individuals in need of tax relief to work directly with the IRS to negotiate a payment plan to avoid being scammed by an illegitimate tax relief company.
According to the IRS, there are legitimate options offered for those with unpaid tax debt:
Consumers may also contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS. The Advocate Service provides free guidance to people experiencing financial difficulties or those who need help resolving a problem with the IRS. The IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service can be reached at (877) 777-4778 or irs.gov/advocate.
For more information on the federal tax collection process and payment options, visit irs.gov. For more information on consumer-related scams, contact the Attorney General's Office Consumer Hotline at (800) 727-6432 or visit ago.ne.gov.