Saturday, May 25 2013 7:30 AM EDT2013-05-25 11:30:07 GMT
Albany Engineer K. Bruce Maples, P. E. announced some road closures Thursday morning. Beginning at 6:00 A.M., Saturday, May 25, 2013, the following streets will be closed for the Spring Fest and SBMore >>
Albany Engineer K. Bruce Maples, announced some road closures beginning at 6:00 A.M., Saturday, May 25, 2013, in downtown Albany.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:55 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:55:46 GMT
Not going out of town for Memorial Day? Don't worry, the Albany Panthers want to make sure you have a good weekend as they host their first ever beer fest. You can sample more than 20 types of beer SaturdayMore >>
Not going out of town for Memorial Day? Don't worry, the Albany Panthers want to make sure you have a good weekend as they host their first ever beer fest.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:50 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:50:57 GMT
The family of a Miller County woman is mourning tonight after GBI investigators say the 58 year old was murdered by her husband, before he took his own life. Now the family of Barbara Bass is speakingMore >>
The family of a Miller County woman is mourning tonight after GBI investigators say the 58 year old was murdered by her husband, before he took his own life.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:38 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:38:36 GMT
Dougherty County Police Officer issues seat belt citation
The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is here, and Dougherty county police are gearing up for a busy weekend. They'll be keeping a close eye on the roads, and are asking motorists to stay safe. Police saidMore >>
The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is here, and Dougherty county police are gearing up for a busy weekend. They'll be keeping a close eye on the roads, and are asking motorists to stay safe.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:25:44 GMT
The Albany Dougherty County Post of the American Legion will be on the lawn of the Albany Mall Saturday morning at 8:00 to erect 122 white crosses. They are there to represent the men and women fromMore >>
The Albany Dougherty County Post of the American Legion will be on the lawn of the Albany Mall Saturday morning at 8:00 to erect 122 white crosses.More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
The IRS has opened more than 500 criminal investigations into questionable tax preparers already this year. Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators say they're also seeing lots of victims of identity theft. People just finding out they were ripped off by crooked tax scammers last year.
IRS officials say South Georgia was a hotbed for tax fraud last year, and they want to cut down on it this year. The IRS and the Sheriff's Office say you shouldn't choose your tax preparer based on promises of huge refunds.
Tax return scams were off the chart last year in South Georgia, and officials are urging you to be on guard. As tax season gets underway, the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office says they are having lots of people filling out another kind of form-- because they are victim of a tax return related scam.
Dougherty County Sheriff's Captain Craig Dodd said, "People won't even realize that their Social Security number had been used the previous year to file tax claims."
Juanita Williams from Bo Williams and Associates Tax Services say they are also seeing many new customers asking for help after falling into a tax scam. "It's a lot of trouble. First of all you can not file it electronically, so that delays the process tremendously. It has to be sent as a paper return and naturally that takes much longer," Williams said.
The IRS and Sheriff's Investigators say it's vital to select a tax preparer that is reputable. Fly by night tax preparers cost South Georgians big last year. "They are having the tax return transferred electronically to their own bank account, and they just disappear. If they do 35, 40, 100 people like that, they make quite a bit of money," Dodd said. "Especially with some of the large tax returns we are getting."
The IRS recommends you use a reputable tax preparer that will be around all year, and ask questions of them.
Find out how much they charge, and don't do business with anyone who says they charge a percentage of your refund Ask for their Tax identification number Do not sign a blank return Check personal history, qualifications Review return before you sign Investigators say unscrupulous promoters will use tax preparation to get all your financial information.
"They are getting bank account numbers from you. They are getting your Social Security number," Dodd said."They are getting all of your personal financial numbers. And anywhere you have ever worked and your medical information."
Most of these tax scams target the low income and elderly, often offering big refunds.
The IRS has issued 770,000 identity Protection numbers this year, to victims of tax related identity theft; nearly triple the number in 2012. The IRS has also hired 35,000 Employees to work with identity theft victims.
The IRS sent out warnings today that they have greatly increased law enforcement targeting fraudulent tax preparers, but they still say the best way to protect yourself is to check out your tax preparer personally.