Have you ever received a call from the “Internal Revenue Service” (IRS) stating you need to call them back because they are filing a lawsuit against you? If you have, don’t call them back—it’s a scam!
Here are some important things to know about the IRS and how they deal with money owed to them. The IRS will never:
- Call you to demand payment unless you’ve already received a bill in the mail. In fact, you may receive several bills prior to any call from an IRS representative.
- Call you without first giving you the opportunity to question the amount or even appeal the decision. And, this will be done via letter, not through the phone or any other media.
- Ask you to give them credit or debit card numbers over the phone—that’s not protocol. In most instances, you’ll be directed to pay via check or through an online portal or telephone payment system. And, you’ll never be required to use a specific payment method; you always have options available to you to pay taxes owed.
- Threaten you in any way—that’s against the law. So, if you receive a call and they say you’ll be arrested for nonpayment, it’s not true.
- Use email, text message, or any type of social media to let you know about a tax issue.
What do you do if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS? Follow these simple steps:
- If you owe taxes, or you think you may owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. You’ll be able to get the help you need to make a payment.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes, report the call immediately to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or go to tigta.gov. Don’t just ignore the call; help keep others safe who may not know what you do!
You may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on their website – ftc.gov – under “File a Consumer Complaint.” Then, choose “Scams and Rip-offs” and then “Impostor Scams.” If you want to learn more about tax scams, visit the IRS website, or any of their social media sites. Protect yourself from fraud by learning all you can.
Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author.