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Issue Number: Tax Tip 2018-102
Here’s how taxpayers can protect
themselves from scammers
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to avoiding tax scams.
Here’s what taxpayers need to know to determine whether an encounter —
in person, over the phone or by email — is an imposter or an actual IRS
The IRS Does Not:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a
specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or
- Demand taxpayers pay taxes
without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Threaten to bring in local police, immigration
officers or other law enforcement to have someone arrested for not
- Threaten to revoke someone’s driver’s license,
business licenses or immigration status.
The IRS Does:
- In general, first mail a bill to any taxpayer
who owes taxes.
- Normally initiate contact with taxpayers
through mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.
official identification when visiting a taxpayer. Taxpayers have
the right to see these credentials, and – if they would like – the
representative will provide them with a dedicated IRS phone number
for verifying the information and confirming their identity.
- Call or visit a home or business under certain
circumstances. This includes when a taxpayer has an overdue tax
bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment
tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or criminal
investigation. Even then, taxpayers will generally receive several
letters from the IRS in the mail first.
- Assign certain cases to
private debt collectors, but only after written notice is given
to the taxpayer and their appointed representative.
- Offer several
payment options. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S.
Treasury and sent directly to the IRS, not a private collection
Share this tip on social media -- #IRSTaxTip: Here’s how taxpayers
can protect themselves from scammers.
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