Tax scammers pretend to be the IRS to scare innocent taxpayers into sending payment. If you are concerned that you’ve been contacted by a tax scammer, look out for these five warning signs.
Calls With No Warning
The IRS almost always sends a notice in the mail as their first form of contact. You will often receive several notices in the mail before any other type of contact is attempted.
If you receive a phone call as your first contact with the IRS, it may be a sign that you’re dealing with a tax scammer.
Immediate Demand for Payment
The IRS is required to allow taxpayers to have certain rights, including the right to disagree with the IRS and appeal IRS actions. If a caller demands you to send immediate payment, this is a sign that they are trying to scam you.
If you want to confirm what you owe the IRS, you can request your tax transcripts or work with a tax attorney who can verify this information.
Requesting Certain Payment Methods
The IRS doesn’t ask taxpayers to use a specific payment method. Taxpayers can use a variety of payment methods, such as:
- Bank transfer
- Credit or debit card
- Money order
- Cash (at a retail partner)
If a caller asks you to pay by prepaid debit card, gift card, wire transfer, or any other specific method, it’s a sign that you’re being scammed.
Threaten Police Action
The IRS won’t threaten to call your local police or have your immigration status revoked. However, there are many actions that the IRS can legitimately pursue if you have delinquent tax debt, including:
- Filing a lien on your property
- Levying your bank account or wages
- Requesting that the State Department revoke or deny your passport
A tax attorney can help you avoid or minimize the consequences of these and other IRS collection actions.
Private Debt Collectors
The IRS works with four private debt collection agencies: CBE, Performant, Pioneer, and ConServe. Before your tax debt is assigned to a private collector, you should receive a notice from the IRS informing you of this action.
If you are contacted by a private debt collector, you can always call the IRS to verify any information. You can also request that your case be reassigned to the IRS.
Contact a tax attorney if you have any concerns about scams involving IRS tax debt collection.
The Gartzman Law Firm handles IRS tax debt and other tax resolution cases. Use our contact form to request a consultation with an Atlanta tax resolution attorney.