IRS phone scams occur when someone calls impersonating an IRS employee and demanding payment. Phone scams were one of the IRS Dirty Dozen tax scams for the 2019 tax year.
Taxpayers who owe the IRS may be understandably frightened if someone calls their home pretending to be an IRS employee. Even taxpayers who don’t owe the IRS may be alarmed in these cases.
You can avoid IRS phone scams by understanding how the IRS collections process works and looking for signs that the caller is not an IRS employee.
How Phone Scams Work
Someone calls you claiming to be an IRS employee. This may be a “robocall” or an actual person, and they may leave a voicemail asking you to call them back at a specific number.
In some cases, the caller may have some of your personal information, such as your name, address, or Social Security number. They use this information to attempt to convince you that they are a government employee.
They will typically ask you to send immediate payment using a wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift card. They may also threaten to call the police if the taxpayer doesn’t pay up.
Some taxpayers are scared by these aggressive tactics and send payment or provide their credit card information to the callers.
Spotting a Phone Scam
The IRS lists the following actions as indicators that a caller is trying to scam you:
- They ask for immediate payment using a specific payment method. The IRS accepts many types of payment and won’t demand you use a specific method.
- Threaten to have the local police come to your home and arrest you for not paying taxes.
- Ask for payment without giving you the chance to appeal or contest the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
In most cases, the IRS will send you several notices in the mail if you owe tax debt. If you receive a suspicious call, you can report it to [email protected] and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
You can also contact a tax attorney to make sure you are dealing with the proper IRS office to get your tax problems resolved.
The Gartzman Law Firm can evaluate your case to determine your best tax resolution options. Use our contact form to request a consultation with an Atlanta tax resolution attorney.