IRS Warns Public About Tax Scams
Every year around April 15th the IRS warns individuals about tax scams. Because most individuals are not knowledgeable about the process surrounding their taxes, they can be particularly vulnerable to these issues. Scammers are known to target individuals who may be at a disadvantage, such as those who are deaf or otherwise disabled. These individuals may not be able to notice the hallmarks of a scam.
The IRS Will Never Demand an Immediate Payment
The IRS tends to be fairly lenient when it comes to payments. Naturally IRS payments cannot be avoided and eventually bank accounts may be levied, but this will occur through due process. A taxpayer will have multiple notices in the mail before it ever gets to this point, and their bank should notify them as well. If the IRS asks for an immediate credit card payment, it is not legitimate.
The IRS Will Never Threaten You With Criminal Action
The IRS may outline consequences for non-payment within their letters, such as bank account levies, but they will not threaten with criminal action or by calling police. The IRS’s debts are a civil matter not a criminal matter, and the police will not get involved. Moreover, bank account levies are the most popular type of consequence; threatening a home is not going to happen.
The IRS Will Never Initiate Contact through a Phone Call
Perhaps the largest thing that people should know is that the IRS will never call them to collect a debt. If you get a call from the IRS that you did not initiate on your own, it is not the IRS. The IRS always initiates communication through official letters and will begin to send letters with read receipts and confirmations as a debt becomes more significant.
The IRS Will Not Request Personal Information
The IRS is never going to contact you and then ask you for verifying information. They may ask you for some verifying information if you call them first… but only if you call them. A scammer that asks you for verifying information is “phishing. They are trying to get your password, social security information, or other data so that they can commit identity theft. Once they get this information, they may steal your tax return or open credit accounts in your name.
Even if you don’t have debt with the IRS, you can still become the target of a scammer. A scammer might say that you have a debt even if you don’t and might threaten to take your home if you don’t immediately pay. If this happens, you should call the IRS directly and report this. You should never stay on the line with a suspected scammer, as they could be trying to gather information from you. If you have been a victim of an IRS scam (or have IRS debts that you do need to clear), Covelli Law Offices may be able to help you.