Tax time is stressful for many people, and it can also be a risky time for people rushing to meet the April 15th deadline.

Navigating tax forms can often be difficult, and many people may turn to professional to help sort through the process. Janet Oakes with the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation department says it’s important to choose that person carefully.

Oakes says are numerous cases each year of tax preparers trying to pad returns in order to increase their fees or to pocket extra returns. She says you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions about how their fees are calculated and always remember that you are ultimately responsible for what ends up on your tax return.

Another concern this time of year is phishing attempts, according to the IRS’s Christopher Miller. He says the IRS will never directly e-mail taxpayers. So if something shows up in your inbox claiming to be from the agency, it’s most likely a phishing scam to steal your identity. Miller says you should forward any such e-mails on to the IRS.

Miller also urges taxpayers to visit the IRS website and review what benefits they can receive, then use that information to avoid filing a fraudulent tax return.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:09)


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