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Maryland General Assembly

With tax fraud on the rise, experts warn consumers to be wary

With tax fraud on the rise, experts warn consumers to be wary

With tax season barely underway, state tax officials have already flagged several dozen Baltimore-area tax preparers for "suspicious" returns, while consumer groups are urging filers to watch out for fraud, errors and needless fees.

With identity theft and false returns on the rise in Maryland and elsewhere, experts say residents should carefully think through their options at tax time, especially low- to moderate-income filers who tend to be targets of predatory practices.

"The tax return is one of the most important financial documents," said Sara Johnson, director of the Baltimore CASH Campaign, which offers free tax preparation, mostly to low-income...

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