IRS Scams: A Few Common Threads to Avoid Financial Losses
With tax time just around the corner, it's more important than ever to be aware of potential IRS scams that can not only rob you of any potential tax refund, but quite possibly other financial resources as well. Here's a quick look at what you should look for when you're contacted by someone claiming to represent the IRS.
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon today for an individual or business to receive a contact from someone claiming to be from the IRS. This contact can be by phone, mail, email or even social media. However, it's important to note that the IRS won't contact taxpayers using email, text messaging or social media due to the inherent security issues. Nor does the IRS demand immediate payment of a tax debt or threaten to bring in law enforcement officials, as there is a particular process that must be followed due to the IRS' position as a federal agency.
Typically, the IRS will initiate contact through the U.S. Mail. In certain circumstances, the IRS will contact taxpayers directly via phone or an in-person visit. If you're contacted or visited by an individual claiming to be with the IRS, ask for identification. IRS agents are required to always present a pocket commission and an HSPD-12 card. If the individual can't provide those documents, don't provide them with any information. If they're asking for payment outside of one directly to the US Treasury, this should also be treated with a degree of suspicion.
A new tax scam this year involves an erroneous tax refund being deposited into taxpayer's accounts. Following a security breach that has compromised the tax information of thousands of taxpayers, the criminals file false tax returns and then use the information they have to steal the erroneous refund, disappearing before the IRS contact the taxpayer about the false return.
By being aware of what common issues that will be brought up to someone claiming to be from the IRS, you can avoid IRS scams and ensure that you'll get your entire tax refund without risk. If you're concerned about a contact you're not certain about, contact the tax professionals at AccountRely today to help sort out what's happening. At AccountRely, we'll take care of you like family.