11 Mar 2020 Beware of Tax Phone Scams
Taxpayers should know the signs of a phone scam, especially during filing season
IRS Tax Tip: 2020-32
Note: while not included in the IRS Tip, we’ve noticed these same tips apply to our senior citizens who are receiving Social Security. Please be aware of such scams, we’ve added links on how to report them to the Social Security Administration.
Taxpayers should be aware that aggressive criminals pose as IRS agents in hopes of stealing money or personal information. The tax filing season is a prime time for phone scams because people are thinking about taxes.
Here are some tell-tale signs of a tax scam along with actions taxpayers can take if they receive a scam call.
The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Call out of the blue about an unexpected tax refund.
Taxpayers who receive these phone calls should:
- Hang up the phone immediately.
- Report the call to TIGTA using their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or by calling 800-366-4484.
- Report the number to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to put IRS Phone Scam in the subject line.
- Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts
- Report Phishing and Online Scams
- Social Security Scam Reporting
- To report Social Security Scams call 1-800-269-0271 Monday-Friday 10am to 4pm EDT.
There are many events during the year that can affect your tax situation. However, negative tax effects can be avoided by proper planning. Please contact us in advance if you experience any of the following:
- Pension or IRA distributions.
- Sale or purchase of a residence or other real estate.
- Significant change in income or deductions.
- Job change.
- Notice from IRS or other revenue department.
- Divorce or separation.
- Attainment of age 59 ½ or 70 ½.
- Sale or purchase of a business.
- Charitable contributions of property in excess of $5,000
This page contains general information for taxpayers and should not be relied upon as the only source of authority. Taxpayers should seek professional tax advice for more information.