As tax season nears, unfortunately IRS scams become more common. It’s important to note that the IRS does not call taxpayers. If the IRS needs to get in touch with you, they will do so via letter — not the phone, not email and not via social media.
One of the more recent IRS scam calls warns a taxpayer about a “time sensitive and urgent matter” related to fraud and/or misconduct on the taxpayer’s fax filing. The callers typically do not identify themselves and simply leave a number to call. According to a recent article in Business Insider, this is a sophisticated tax scam in which the scammers file a fake tax return with stolen personal information and then use your bank account information to have the refund deposited into your account. Having completed that step, they then call you posing as an IRS or debt collector.
According to the IRS, the IRS does not:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method; if you owe taxes, you should first receive a bill, in the mail, from the IRS
- Demand you pay taxes without the chance for appeal
- Threaten to contact local police, law enforcement or immigration officers
- Threaten to revoke your driver’s license, business license or immigration status
The U.S. Department of Justice advises that you never discuss personal tax issues with someone on the phone. If you receive a call from someone about taxes, you are advised to ignore the number given to you by the caller and instead call the IRS at 800.829.1040 (personal taxes) or 800.829.4933 (business taxes) to alert them of the call you received.
If you are contacted via email about a tax issue, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a fraudulent tax refund is deposited into your account, you can visit the IRS page that walks you through what you should do to return a paper check or correct a direct deposit that resulted from a fraud.