IRS Tax Scams and Tax Fraud
Tax season has begun, which means tax ID theft and fraud should be on everyone’s radar.
Tax Scams and Identity Theft
According to the Internal Revenue Service’s website, IRS tax scams and tax fraud are expected to be worse than ever in 2016. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. You may be unaware that this has happened until you e-file your return and discover that a return already has been filed under your SSN. The IRS may also send you a letter stating they have identified a suspicious return.
The IRS Does Not Make Phone Calls
Taxpayers are also being targeted through aggressive and threatening phone calls made by criminals impersonating IRS agents, or even through email schemes designed to deceive taxpayers. Scammers may try to threaten court action or even arrest as a scare tactic.
The IRS Does Not Do Emails or Text Messages
As a reminder, the IRS does not use unsolicited email or text messages to discuss personal tax issues. The IRS will also never demand payment without giving the taxpayer an opportunity to appeal or question the amount owed, require you to use a specific payment method, ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, or threaten to contact law enforcement to have you arrested.
Always shred your personal and financial documents when discarding them and always know your tax preparer to ensure your information is protected.
If you suspect an IRS tax scams or tax fraud:
- Call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040. You can confirm your tax obligations with an official IRS agent
- Report a suspicious incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) by calling 1-800-366-4484 or sending an email to: email@example.com.
- Always check the status of your refund after filing
Visit https://www.irs.gov/ for more information.