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Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance offers Tips to Tennesseans to Maximize Tax Refunds


Division of Consumer Affairs and Board of Accountancy Help Consumers Thwart Scammers

Tennessee Department of Commerce and InsuranceNashville, TN – With tax season in full swing, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) shares three essential guidelines to help consumers efficiently navigate the income tax filing process.

Income Taxes

Income Taxes

“We want Tennesseans to make the most of their income tax refunds,” TDCI Deputy Commissioner Bill Giannini said. “Our Division of Consumer Affairs and Board of Accountancy offer great resources to help keep your money out of the pocket of scammers.”

TDCI encourages Tennesseans to consider the following when submitting income taxes:

  1. Get your refund fast through direct deposit.
    Did you know that your income tax refund can be electronically deposited into your financial account for free? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can automatically deposit your refund into up to three separate accounts if you set up direct deposit when you file your return. Click here to learn how.
  2. File your taxes for free.

If your income is $54,000 or less, if you are 60-years-old or older, or if you have a disability or speak limited English, you can generally get free tax preparation assistance at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) location near you. The IRS offers instructions to help you get started.
If you decide to do it yourself:

  • If your income is $62,000 or less, you can use any one of several major tax preparation software products, offered through the Free File Alliance, to prepare and file your return for free. The Free File Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of industry leading tax software companies partnered with the IRS to help Americans prepare and e-file their federal tax returns for free. If your income is more than $62,000, you can still download free tax filing forms through the IRS.
  • There are many easy-to-use tax preparation software products on the market that will help you walk through the tax filing process step-by-step. These are not free, but they may be less expensive than paying someone to file your return for you.

Tip: Depending on your age, income and filing status, you may not be required to file a return. Click here to see if you are required to file a tax return.

  1. Beware potential tax fraud.

Tax fraud is becoming increasingly common. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, from 2011 through 2013, the IRS stopped 14.6 million suspicious tax returns.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself from fraud:

  • File electronically and request that your refund be deposited directly into your account.
  • Check your credit report. You can review your credit report for free every 12 months at, or by calling 877.322.8228.
  • Stay alert for phone scams.
    The IRS will not:

    • Call or email you to ask for personal information.
    • Demand immediate payment without first sending you a bill in the mail and giving you an opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
    • Require you use a specific payment method for taxes, like a prepaid debit card.
    • Ask for credit card information over the phone.
    • Threaten to have you arrested for not paying.

If any of these scams happen to you, report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft involving your income tax return, report it to the IRS

For more consumer tips and information about reporting other forms of identity theft, visit

About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance

TDCI is charged with protecting the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the Athletic Commission, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Corrections Institute, Emergency Communications Board, Fire Prevention, Insurance, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Peace Officers Standards and Training, Regulatory Boards, Securities, and TennCare Oversight.




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