Today IRS posted tips for avoiding tax scams. The news release includes YouTube videos and Podcasts in English and Spanish. The YouTube videos are also available in American Sign Language.
Some hints from IRS (not just from today’s release):
- The IRS never, that is correct – NEVER, contacts taxpayers via email, text message or social media to request payment or personal information.
- Do not open links in text messages or emails purportedly from IRS.
- If IRS says they already have a return on file from you and you know you have not yet filed, you may be a victim of identity theft. IRS has an identity theft page with recommendations.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not.
- Scammers sometimes fake the caller ID to make it look like they are from IRS. If you think it may be a legitimate call, hang-up and call IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and the IRS agent on that phone line can tell you what they show.
- IRS does not ask for credit cards, debit cards, prepaid debit cards or wire transfers over the phone.
- The IRS cannot take away your driver’s license. Nor doe they threaten to send law enforcement out to arrest you if you do not pay over the phone.
- IRS publications, instructions and notices may sometimes seem incomprehensible but IRS writing is usually correctly spelled and grammatically (if not stylistically) correct. For example, this is a dead giveaway the text is fake: “IRS gonna get u if ur taxes are not paid NOW!!!” IRS does not send out letters like that. Believe it or not but “u” and “ur” are not real words.
- Most states are similar to IRS. While some states may use email to correspond with taxpayers, you should always receive something in snail mail first. You should call the state using the number on the state’s website to verify any phone call or email you receive.
If you are one of our clients please contact us before replying to any tax agency. I provide an initial evaluation of the situation at no charge. Details on our pricing and policies page.