Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Filing Basics

Potential Pitfalls

Potential Pitfalls

To avoid any difficulties when preparing tax returns:

  • Always treat the information used to prepare an individual's income tax return as confidential.
  • Canadians have a number that is like a social security number, but it is for their old-age pension. Do not use this number on a U.S. tax return. Canadians often have both U.S. and Canadian social security numbers.
  • Be on the alert for the following possible indications of fraudulent activity:
    • Form W-2 that is typed or handwritten or has noticeable corrections
    • Form W-2 from a company that looks different from other Forms W-2 issued by the same company
    • A suspicious person accompanying the taxpayer (who has been observed on other occasions)
    • Multiple refunds directed to the same address or P.O. box
    • Employment or earnings that are a basis for refundable credits, which are not well-documented
    • Similar returns (e.g., same amount of refund, same number of dependents, or same number of Forms W-2)
  • Notify your site's coordinator if you suspect any fraudulent or unusual activity.