This spring, many taxpayers will find themselves being contacted by the IRS regarding unpaid tax debt and outstanding liabilities. Unfortunately, some taxpayers will also be contacted by scam artists impersonating the IRS in an attempt to steal tax payments. Taxpayers must be wary when it comes to phone calls or emails purporting to come from the IRS, but they also must respond appropriately when the IRS legitimately contacts them. That is why it is so important to obtain guidance from a knowledgeable tax attorney before proceeding.
What to Do If You Think You’re Being Targeted by False IRS Agents
What should you do if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS? Keep the following tips in mind:
- Contact an experienced attorney right away. Your lawyer can help you determine whether the party contacting you about your unpaid tax debt is legitimate. He or she can also help you decide how best to proceed in order to resolve the tax problem safely.
- Be aware that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text message, or social media channels in order to request personal or financial information.
- Be aware that the IRS will never ask a taxpayer for PINs, passwords, or other confidential access information for any of your credit card, bank, or financial accounts.
- Do not open any attachments or click any links contained in an email message purporting to be from the IRS. Forward these emails to the following address instead: email@example.com.
- After the phone call, if you truly owe unpaid tax debt and if your attorney approves, consider calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees who answer this line can help you resolve any issues with a payment issue and will confirm whether the party that contacted you was truly from the IRS.
- If you are unclear as to whether you truly owe any unpaid tax debt or are confident that you do not, consider reporting the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The Treasury Inspector can be reached at 1-800-366-4484.
- Additionally, consider filing a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant. When completing the requested information, be sure to include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in your notes.
It is important for taxpayers to know that there are many types of scams in addition to fake IRS phone calls that they must be aware of. Some scammers, for example, may claim to be from the IRS offering fake debt relief or settlements. Get the professional help you need to sort through these confusing and misleading claims and offers.