When the Internal Revenue Service makes an announcement, taxpayers should listen. Take this piece of IRS tax news earlier this year, when the agency warned its audiences about a sophisticated phone scam that threatened to steal millions from taxpayers’ wallets.
This summer, taxpayers nationwide received phone calls from a number that appeared to be associated with the IRS on caller ID, threatening arrest for tax delinquency and demanding immediate payment. The IRS has fielded more than 90,000 complaints from taxpayers who received these types of phone calls.
About 1,000 recipients of the calls were scared into paying the so-called IRS representative. The scammers were sophisticated, successfully disguising their caller IDs to appear legitimate, and it is estimated that over $5 million has been stolen from taxpayers so far.
What the Scam Means for Taxpayers
Most importantly, the news of this scam underscores the importance of honesty. If you’re absolutely certain that you were honest about filing your tax return, the chances of falling for someone demanding payment for tax evasion decrease significantly.
But even then, doubt may creep in. What if you missed something? In that case, let us help you familiarize yourself with how the IRS agency operates. You will never be contacted by phone first: a piece of mail will be your first notice. The IRS will also never insist on a specific payment, and will never threaten arrest.
We are now just a few months removed from the height of tax season, making this a prime opportunity for tax delinquency scams. When in doubt, always contact the IRS directly to find out whether a demand for payment was legitimate.