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The Thomas Howell Ferguson Blog

Taxpayers Beware of Unsolicited Calls from the IRS

Taxpayers who get an unsolicited phone call from the IRS should be cautious – it’s probably a scam. These scammers will use your personal information to gain access to your bank or other accounts.

When a scammer calls, it might be a recording or an actual person claiming to be from the IRS. Sometimes they will tell the taxpayer they owe money and must pay right away or they have a refund waiting. They will then ask for bank account information over the phone.

Here are several tips that will help taxpayers avoid being scammed:

The real IRS will not:

  • Call to demand instant payment
  • Call someone if they owe taxes without first sending a bill in the mail
  • Demand tax payment and not allow the taxpayer to question or appeal the amount owed
  • Insist that someone pay their taxes a certain way
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other agencies
  • Threaten a lawsuit

Taxpayers who don’t owe taxes or who have no reason to think they do should follow these steps:

  • Use the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report the scam.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission with the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov.

Taxpayers who think they might actually owe taxes should follow these steps:

  • Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

For any questions, always consult a Certified Public Accountant.

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