Stay Informed, Stay Secure: IRS Warns Tax Pros of Emerging Scams in 2024 Filing Season

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Security Summit partners have issued a warning about a new wave of filing season-related email schemes where cybercriminals pose as potential clients.

Recognizing the Threat

In recent years, the IRS has witnessed a surge in “new client” scams during tax season, typically from January through April. These scams involve identity thieves sending fake emails to tax professionals, posing as genuine taxpayers seeking assistance with their taxes. The objective is to trick tax professionals into divulging sensitive information or gaining access to their clients’ data.

Commissioner Danny Werfel emphasizes the risk these scams pose, stating, “These intricate email scams pose a real risk to tax professionals and the taxpayers they represent.” Cybercriminals exploit the tax season, masquerading as legitimate clients, but their real intention is to access the sensitive client data held by tax professionals.

The Mechanics of the Scam

The new client email scam can take a direct or cautious approach. In the direct approach, a phishing email may contain a malicious link or attachment, enticing the tax professional to click. In a more cautious approach, scammers initiate contact by inquiring if the tax professional is seeking new clients. Upon response, a second email with a malicious link or attachment is sent.

During this process, tax professionals may unknowingly download malware, compromising their email address, password, and potentially other information. Scammers may also exploit stolen email accounts, using legitimate conversations to lend credibility to their phishing attempts.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

The IRS highlights several red flags in these phishing emails, including awkwardly phrased sentences and odd word usage. However, scammers can now access legitimate email conversations from stolen accounts, making the emails appear more convincing. Tax professionals should be cautious, especially during the 2024 tax season, and verify the legitimacy of unexpected email solicitations.

Here’s an example of a current new client scam:

Subject: 2024 Tax Submission


My name is (name can vary), I am searching for another CPA to help handle my taxes. Is it safe to say that you are accepting new clients for the 2024 tax season? Do you additionally assist with IRS representation? I figured I may have an issue with last year’s return. (Click) HERE TO VIEW MY CREDENTIAL [Link to a phishing web address]

Upon your approval, we can arrange a physical or virtual meeting to discuss my situation and also provide my tax documents amongst others.

Kindly prompt how you plan to push ahead.

Best Regards,

(Name varies)

Staying Vigilant Throughout Tax Season

Tax professionals and individuals alike should remain vigilant to various phishing scams that peak during tax season. Cybercriminals may impersonate the IRS, state tax agencies, tax software companies, or financial institutions. Phishing scams can take many forms, offering government benefits or services like document verification or shipping.

Crystal Clear Tax: Your Trusted Partner in Financial Services

In the face of these threats, it’s crucial to partner with a reliable financial services provider. Crystal Clear Tax stands out as a trusted partner, offering a range of services tailored to meet the specific needs of single mom entrepreneurs, and professionals from diverse industries.

Our individual and business tax services ensure compliance and optimization, saving you time and ensuring accuracy. We specialize in accounting and bookkeeping to keep your financial records organized and reliable.

Book a discovery call with us today and experience the difference Crystal Clear Tax can make in safeguarding your financial future. Let us handle the complexities while you concentrate on what you do best.

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