October 22nd, 2020

fingers dressed like crooksWith the October 15th extension deadline behind us, the IRS will soon turn its attention to collection efforts. If you’ve missed the filing deadline from April 15th (or July 15th in 2020 due to COVID-19), and the October 15th deadline, you could be subject to late penalties and interest. Don’t forget you owe the taxes too! But this also is a key time for tax scammers!

So, is the IRS calling me?

The IRS initiates most contacts through mail, several notices of taxes and fees due, delivered by the United States Postal Service.

However, there are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as 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 during criminal investigations.

Collection: IRS collection employees may call or come to a home or business unannounced to collect a tax debt. They will not demand that you make an immediate payment to a source other than the U.S. Treasury. The IRS also uses private collection firms, but payments must still all be made to the U.s Treasury, and never by pre-paid debit or gift card.

Audits: IRS employees conducting audits may call you to set up appointments or to discuss your case. You should immediately retain a CPA or EA experienced in audits, who will talk to the IRS on your behalf.

Criminal Investigations: IRS criminal investigators may visit a taxpayer’s home or business unannounced while conducting an investigation. However, these are federal law enforcement agents and they will not demand any sort of payment. AND this will NOT be the first time you’re hearing from them.

So, what is a Scam?

Scammers use threats to intimidate, harass or bully you into paying right then. Threats like arrest or deportation are common. The IRS does not demand immediate payment, definitely not with a prepaid debit/gift card. The IRS cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status. And they certainly will not bring in local police or immigration for non-payment. They also do NOT email.

The IRS maintains a laundry list of common scams on their website.

What can you do if you suspect a scam?

  1. Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  2. Report to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov and add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  3. Report unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS to [email protected](link sends email).

Tax Defense Ohio are trained experts in tax resolution cases. If you get a letter from the IRS, a legit one, we can help. Consultation is always free. Call us at 614-524-4888 today!