Please remember that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information; they also do not use text messages or social media channels. The IRS will never:
Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;
Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;
Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card;
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refused to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
IRS-Impersonation E-mail Scam
If you do get an email from what looks to be an IRS agent, do not open any attachments nor click any links; instead, forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Reports Solicitation Form
You may receive an Annual Reports Solicitation Form in the mail. This is not a government document and has nothing to do with your corporate Annual Report Filing. The service the company is offering is not a legal requirement; it is purely a solicitation. We recommend that you do not fill out the information nor pay the $125 fee.
General Identity Theft Information
Identity theft continues to be at the top of the IRS watch list. In many cases, an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund. The IRS has a special section on their website here dedicated to identity theft issues.
Form 14039 – Identity Theft Affidavit is available to complete if you are an actual or potential victim of identity theft and would like the IRS to mark our account to identify any questionable activity.
If you believe you are at risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information, you should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 immediately so the agency can take action to secure your tax account. You can also visit their website which has a section devoted to identity theft where you can find additional information on Avoiding Tax Scams and helpful hints to protect yourself against identity theft here.
Newburg & Company, LLP continues to protect your information through its use of Portal and other encryption software. Please call us with any questions.