At Gurdak Group, Ltd., we are continually contacted by clients who are receiving phone calls and emails from IRS impersonators. We continually remind our clients to not share any information with these scammers as they are simply attempting to steal personal information. The IRS has reported that the number of reported scamming incidents increased substantially during the 2016 tax return season. Please remember that the IRS, will almost never contact a taxpayer via telephone. Correspondence with taxpayers is done via notices in the mail. The IRS recently released a list of five things scammers often do during these phone calls that the IRS will not do.
- Call the taxpayer and demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes that are owed without first sending the taxpayer a bill via mail.
- Demand that the taxpayer pay taxes without giving the chance to question or appeal the amount that is owed.
- Require that the taxpayer use a certain payment method for paying taxes such as a gift card or prepaid credit card.
- Request credit card or bank account information over the phone.
- Threaten to arrest the taxpayer or bring in local police as a result of filing fraudulent tax returns or owing a tax balance.
If you receive a scamming phone call from someone claiming to be the IRS, please contact your CPA to discuss the situation. The IRS has published a chart which helps answer questions and offer direction to taxpayers who think they may have been a target of an IRS scam. That chart can be found at the following link: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/how-do-you-report-suspected-tax-fraud-activity
Additionally, the IRS would like recipients of these fraudulent phone calls to report them at the following website. https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/