You may have received a call (or several) recently from someone claiming to be from the IRS demanding payment and sometimes threatening to involve the police if you don’t comply with their requests for information and money.
I want to be completely clear: the IRS does not call or email in order to address tax issues. If you do have a tax issue, you will receive an official notice from the IRS via mail.
Tax fraud is surging:
With a recent surge in tax fraud throughout the United States, the IRS has issued guidelines to help verify legitimate correspondence from them. In the 2013 Fiscal Year, the IRS initiated approximately 1,492 identity theft investigations, a 66% percent increase from the 2012 Fiscal Year. (View their report.) This number only continues to increase with time.
4 helpful IRS tips to avoid fraud scams:
What to do if you think you owe money to the IRS:
If you believe that you might owe money to the IRS and get one of these calls, hang up and do not provide your information. Instead, call the IRS directly (1-800-829-1040) and speak to them about your return or case.
Steps to take after receiving a scam call:
After receiving a fraudulent call or email, there are two ways to report the incident, by contacting the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
The most important thing is to be wary of anyone calling and claiming to be the IRS.
Share this advice:
We ask you to share this advice with family and friends, especially seniors who are at a higher risk for these types of scams.
Consider this your training manual to get and stay financially fit for life!