It’s not just that we have to fill out those pesky tax forms and then dig into our pockets to pay whatever outrageous sums the agency demands.
Sure, the agency wants us to do that. But in a news release in January, the I.R.S. commissioner, John Koskinen, warned that there were people who do not work for the I.R.S. who also want to slip a hand into your wallet. “Every filing season, scam artists lure victims in by promising outlandish refunds,” he said.
“So don’t be an idiot.”
Wait. He didn’t actually say that last part about being an idiot, at least not in those precise words. I.R.S. commissioners don’t talk like that. Instead, he told people in measured language to be wary of tax preparers who ask them to sign a blank return, “promise a big refund before looking at their records, or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund…”