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Beware of IRS scams, especially this time of the year

IRS scams are a dime a dozen. If you get a threatening telephone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, hang up immediately. It’s not the IRS, I promise you.

IRS Scams

IRS Scams intimidate you, and try to take your money

The reason they call you is to swindle you out of as much money as they can. They’ll tell you something like, you own $10 thousand dollars in back taxes, ask for a quick settlement and demand that you wire them the money. Sometimes they can get away with this for two reasons. First, they’re using the power of the Federal Government to operate the scam. Second, whenever anyone believes they are threatened by the IRS, they’re so frightened that they pay the scammer without thinking.

3 Reasons this is not the IRS calling

I was a CPA for over 30 years, and I know how the IRS initially contacts people. It is never by a phone call, even if you’re working with them to settle a dispute.

  • The IRS first contacts delinquent taxpayers by mail, and gives them every opportunity to settle the dispute before taking further action. If you get a letter from the IRS, there are two ways of proving it is really them, and not an IRS scam. First, the letter will be on US Treasure Department stationery, like the image above. Second, you can always contact them, which you should do anyway, and verify that the letter is legitimate.
  • If you ignore the letter for about four months, the IRS will send an agent to visit you in person. You’ll know this is the real IRS because the agent will show you a badge with the agent number.
  • Finally, anytime you call the IRS and speak to an agent, he’ll give you his agent number at the beginning of the conversation. Most scammers don’t’ know that they do this. If the scammer knows the procedure, and gives you a number, you could write it down, and then politely tell the person calling that you need to verify it with the IRS, and will take care of the problem when you do this. But this is not necessary, because I guarantee you, this is not the IRS.

Remember, the IRS will never call a taxpayer, under any circumstances. Don’t fall victim to IRS scams.

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