On August 7, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued a warning to all taxpayers about recent tax scams. There are reports of nearly 4,000 victims and over $20 million in financial losses caused by the scams. Most of the scams involve individuals posing as representatives of the IRS and are targeting both personal and financial data. The IRS warned that tax scams continue to evolve and can occur through many mediums—phone, email, or by mail with the use of authentic looking IRS letterheads.
As tips to avoid these scams, the IRS warns they will not:
- Angrily demand immediate payment over the phone or call about taxes without first mailing a bill
- Threaten arrest for lack of payment
- Demand payment without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount
- Require specific payment methods, such as prepaid debit cards
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
Additionally, the IRS wants taxpayers to remember that the official website of the IRS is IRS.gov. Any other variation is likely fraudulent.
For more information, see IRS Warns Taxpayers to Guard Against New Tricks by Scam Artists; Losses Top $20 Million, available at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-Taxpayers-to-Guard-Against-New-Tricks-by-Scam-Artists.
If would like to further educate yourself about the most common scams for 2015, the IRS provided a list of the 12 most common scams for 2015. See, IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015, available at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Completes-the-Dirty-Dozen-Tax-Scams-for-2015.
If you believe you have been contacted as part of one of these scams, you can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 and the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.
© 2015 Houghton Vandenack Williams
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