CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Monday, January 29th is the first day the IRS will begin accepting tax returns.

According to the South Carolina Department of Revenue, online is the safest way to file if you want to avoid being scammed. Another way to avoid scammers is to file as early as possible.

“It costs on average 243 dollars for individuals to file their taxes,” said Katrina Seastrunk, Lowcountry regional coordinator with SC Thrive.

The cost may make you want to accept the cheapest help, but you’ll want to make sure the help you choose is reputable. You can find free help through organizations like the United Way.

“It is such a critical need and we know there are more people who need free tax preparation than there are tax providers so it’s very important for Trident United Way to support this effort,” said Amanda Lawrence, VP of Community Impact, Trident United Way.”

When you show up for that help, make sure you have what you need.

“You need to bring all of your forms that talk about your income, you need to bring a government ID, you want to bring any forms about your health insurance coverage, about your investments if you have any,” Seastrunk said.

If you feel that you’ve been scammed at any point throughout tax season, you can report it to the Department of Consumer Affairs by phone at 844-835-5322 or you can fill out an ID theft intake form at You can also call the Department of Revenue at 1-803-898-7638.