It’s that time again! Tax Season! With tax season, come the tax scammers. Starting in late January and early February, these are the calls that go something like this:
This is the IRS. We are contacting you regarding money you owe to the IRS. If this money is not paid within 24 hours, a warrant for your arrest will be issued. To avoid any further legal action please call xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Holy cow! That is panic inducing, but do not fear, it is only a scam! Here are some clues that it is not really the IRS.
*The IRS will NOT:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
- Demand tax payment and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
- Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For example, demand that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other agencies to arrest you without paying.
- Threaten you with a lawsuit.
The IRS will not call you if you owe them money. They will send you notice after notice regarding what you owe, and they will send it through the United States Postal Service a/k/a regular mail. They will not email, call, fax, or use any other type of technological service. They will send it through good old-fashioned mail.
Their notices will include not only how much you owe, but where the discrepancy was, and how they calculated any interest or late fees. They will not just throw a number at you and expect you to take their word for it. They give evidence and hard numbers to back up their claim, and they give you, the tax payer, a chance to appeal the claim or question the amount owed.
So, if you are on the receiving end of one of these scams, do not panic. Take a deep breath. Take note of their phone number. Get the spelling of their name (it may be a fake name), and hang up the phone. You can then notify your tax preparer, and/or you can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. You should also report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Contact the TIGTA at the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page
Contact the FTC at the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your report.
Taxes are stressful enough. Do not add to your stress this year by worrying about coming up with money to pay off the IRS scammers. Just keep telling yourself;
The IRS will not call and threaten me!
*This information was taken directly from https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/scam-calls-and-emails-using-irs-as-bait-persist. Check it out for more information regarding Tax Telephone and Phishing scams!
For additional information check out this IRS YouTube video.