As we crank up for tax season, we remind our clients and friends to be on the lookout for an array of evolving tax scams related to identity theft and refund fraud. Every tax season I hear of past clients, friends, and colleagues receiving scary fake IRS calls. Only a few months ago, I too received one of these calls.
If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, be very skeptical. Over the years, the schemes have increased to target innocent people by email, phone and online. Many of us know of people who have received these fake calls from someone impersonating to be from the IRS stating the individual has an outstanding balance in which they must pay promptly either through a wire transfer, debit card or credit card. If the person does not cooperate, the scammers threaten arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. These phone calls are a SCAM! Some individuals were fortunate to hang up before making any payment, while others are not.
Don’t get scammed. Remember, the IRS initiates most contacts with taxpayers through regular mail (called “notices”) delivered by the United States Postal Service.
Always keep in mind that the IRS will never call you about a tax bill without first communicating by mail; will never demand immediate payment without an opportunity to ask questions or file an appeal; and will never require you to use a specific payment method. Furthermore, the IRS will never ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or threaten you with arrest.
If you receive a fake IRS call from someone claiming to be from the IRS asking for money, you should hang up immediately and not give any personal information. If you think you owe taxes, you can contact the IRS directly or feel free to have us assist you with determining what is owed.
In any event, stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time.
If you have any questions about the above or matters related to your 2017 income tax return, don’t hesitate to contact your advisor or Louis Feldman, CPA/PFS, JD, CFP, at Investor Tax Services, LLC* (800) 508-8500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Investor Tax Services, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Investor Solutions.