Phoenix Accountant

Scottsdale Tax Prep | Fake Charities

The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for groups who are pretending to be legitimate charitable organizations in an attempt to attract donations from unsuspecting taxpayers. The IRS advises taking a few extra minutes before writing that check to make sure the charity they are donating their hard earned money to is legitimate and currently eligible. By visiting www.irs.gov,  taxpayers can check the status of the charity in question to verify their standing with the IRS. Here are a few tips for taxpayers to keep in mind when making a donation:

  • Be wary of charities that have names that are similar to well known charities. A common tactic is to use names or websites that sound or look like those of well known legitimate charities. The IRS’ website has a great search feature called select check¬†where taxpayers can verify the standing of a charity before making a donation.
  • Taxpayers should not give out personal information like social security numbers to anyone who solicits a contribution from them. Scam artists can use this information to steal your identity.
  • Be cautious about giving your credit card information to someone who calls you.
  • Never make a donation with cash. For security and tax record keeping purposes, contributions via check or credit card are much more audit friendly.
  • Be wary of charities soliciting donations in the wake of natural disasters. Following major disasters, it’s commonplace for scam artists to begin contacting people looking to help those in need. To help those affected by the disasters, the IRS encourages taxpayers to donate to recognized charities.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, do not hesitate to contact us at Dusseau & Makris, PC, your Phoenix CPA firm.