Tax Tip Tuesday: Tax Scams
Unfortunately, the problem of scammers pretending to be the IRS continues to grow. This is a topic that we have addressed before, but it is serious enough that it is important that we discuss it again.
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Note That the IRS Will Never:
1) Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
2) Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3) Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4) Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5) Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you receive a notification from the IRS and are unsure if it is real or a scam, please give us a call at 515-225-3141 or email us here.
Disclaimer: The items included in the Tax Tip Tuesday Video Blog are informational only and are not meant as tax advice. Consult with your tax advisor to determine how any item applies to your situation. IRS Circular 230 disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advise contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein