AI expected to fuel a new wave of tax scams, stoking concerns among taxpayers   

  • 36% of American taxpayers are worried about being a victim of tax fraud and scams
  • More than one-in-ten (13%) Gen Z taxpayers have been victim of tax fraud/scams in the last three years 
  • 20% of those who have been victims of tax fraud, have lost more than $2,501 as a result  

Tax refunds are often the biggest windfall of the year for many Americans, presenting an opportunity for fraudsters and scammers to swoop in and claim whatever money is owed to fillers by the IRS. Last year, the IRS flagged over 1 million tax returns for identify fraud, costing consumers millions of dollars, not to mention their personal information. This year, AI is expected to fuel a new wave of tax-related scams, stoking concerns among American taxpayers. 

According to a study conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of Intuit Credit Karma, 36% of taxpayers are worried about being a victim of tax fraud or scams. This concern is most common among Gen Z, 46% of which say they’re worried about being a victim, compared to 41% of millennials, 37% of Gen X and 27% of boomers+. 

To avoid tax scams and fraud, many filers are choosing to file their taxes early. At least that’s the case for half of American taxpayers who say they always file their taxes early to avoid scams and fraud. Gen Z and millennials are ahead of this trend with 57% of Gen Z and 56% of millennials reporting they always file early to avoid scams. 

While concerns about tax fraud run high throughout tax season, the number of tax filers who have actually experienced tax fraud and scams is actually quite low. According to the study, just 7% of American taxpayers have been a victim of tax fraud or scams in the last three years. That number jumps to 13% for Gen Z and 14% for millennials. The most common methods of tax fraud experienced by victims of tax fraud are online scams (41%), phone call scams (38%), text message scams (37%) and email scams (33%). 

Of those who have been a victim of tax fraud or scam within the last three years, 86% lost money as a result. Most people involved lost no more than $1,000. However, one-in-five lost more than $2,501 as a result of tax fraud or scams.  

“The rise of artificial intelligence has made it easier than ever for consumers to be baited into tax scams across a number of mediums, including phone calls, social media, text and email,” said Courtney Alev, consumer financial advocate and head of tax at Intuit Credit Karma. “This makes it even more important for consumers to be on the lookout for red flags related to their taxes this tax season. Specifically, consumers should know that the IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers through email, text or social media to request personal or financial information. If someone tries to contact you and requests a call back or sends you a link and asks you to click on it, know that those are very likely scams. Additionally, the IRS will never ask you to pay your tax bill using a giftcard, cryptocurrency, Apple Pay, or peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo and Zelle. If someone claims to be with the IRS and requests any of these forms of payment, it’s best to disengage. For other tips on how to avoid tax scams this tax season visit the IRS website.” 


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Qualtrics on behalf of Intuit Credit Karma on March 13 to March 18, 2024 among 1,985 adults ages 18 and older who plan to file their taxes this tax season.