Be Wary Of Fake IRS Phone Calls
For taxpayers, this time of year may be the second-most stressful. Obviously the first is the tax deadline itself. But when the IRS begins contacting taxpayers regarding audits, many people begin to sweat. Unfortunately, this nervousness is something that makes many Americans vulnerable and is something that scammers pry on. You should be careful not to fall for a scam, and be aware if you get a phone call from the IRS claiming you owe money.
Scammers Are Always Trying To Get Creative
Because scammers are constantly being shut down, their methods to obtain your information continually get more and more creative. Their goal is to seem authentic, tricking you into giving them your information. For example, last year the IRS reported an increase in “robo-calls.” These calls left urgent callback requests that would allow taxpayers to settle their “tax bill,” and threatened legal action if the taxpayer did not return the call. Imagine coming home and listening to that voicemail on your answering machine. Pretty believable and scary, right?
This year, scammers have been calling taxpayers and telling them that two certified letters had been sent giving them notice of an audit, but they had been returned as undeliverable. The taxpayers are threatened with arrest if they do not make an immediate payment through a prepaid debit card.
Things The IRS Will Not Do
If you do get a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, you should be diligent and pay careful attention to what the individual is asking you for. According to the IRS’ website, they will not
- Call to demand immediate payment
- Call someone if they owe taxes without first sending a bill in the mail
- Demand tax payment and now allow the taxpayer to question or appeal the amount owed
- Require that someone pay their taxes a certain way, such as with a prepaid debit card
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
- Threaten to bring in local police or other agencies to arrest a taxpayer who doesn’t pay
- Threaten a lawsuit
What If It’s Real?
If you do owe taxes – or think you may – you should go through the United States Treasury. If you are contacted over the phone by an IRS agent, there’s a good chance that the specifics of your case will not be discussed. The IRS agent will not tell you that you are being audited and instead, will schedule an appointment to discuss your case. You will typically be notified by mail before receiving a phone call from the IRS.
Concerned About An IRS Call?
If you receive a phone call or notification from the IRS and are concerned about its legitimacy, contact your local tax experts at Sherbetjian. Sherbetjian Premium Tax Services specializes in individual and business returns, including returns for corporations, non-profits, and trusts. This expansive knowledge can help you no matter what your situation. If you’re skeptical about dealing with the IRS, be sure to call Sherbetjian today at (805) 230-0085 for a consultation and advice.