With tax season upon, the stress of filing taxes can cloud judgement and leave taxpayers vulnerable to becoming victims of fraud. To avoid becoming a victim of a tax scam, you have to know how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would typically initiate contact with you.

Under most circumstances, the IRS will contact you via standard mail. In special circumstances, they may have someone call or visit your home or business. Some of the special circumstances, include but are not limited to: an overdue tax bill, an open criminal investigation, or to secure a delinquent tax return. Before the IRS makes a phone call or an in-person visit, you would have received multiple notices in the mail.

Criminals that are impersonating the IRS can be aggressive and sophisticated. From using fake names to counterfeit IRS identification badge numbers, the method in which scammers try to coerce payments is not a method used by actual IRS employees. Scammers will always try to instill a sense of fear and urgency in order to get what they want. Before you give in, take a moment to evaluate the legitimacy of what they’re asking for and the method of payment they are requesting.

Unlike scammers, the IRS will never demand a specific form of payment, like a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. They will also never require immediate payment or threaten to bring local police, immigration officers, or other law enforcement agencies to arrest you for not paying. In fact, the IRS cannot revoke a license or immigration status. Threatening you with law enforcement action is just one of the many ways scammers try to instill fear.

The IRS assigns overdue tax debts to private debt collection agencies. Before a debt collection agency calls, the IRS would have sent you, the taxpayer, a letter letting you know that the debt has been turned over to one of the private agencies. The IRS only uses the following private collection agencies (PCAs): CBE Group, Coast Professional, and ConServe. Only one of the aformentioned agencies will contact you about the tax debt that was turned over, not all of them at once. If they contact you, remember that PCA representatives will never ask for a prepaid gift card, they will never take law enforcement action, and most importantly, they will only ask for payments to go to the U.S. Treasury

As you prepare to file your taxes this year, remember, the IRS will never contact you via email, text messages, social media, or demand immediate payments. If you’re unsure if you owe money to the U.S. Treasury, you can check your tax account by visiting: http://www.irs.gov/payments/view-your-tax-account.

If you believe that you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam, contact the PCSO at 727-582-6200.

Posted by Laura Sullivan Tuesday, March 15, 2022 9:13:00 AM

Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info