Individuals lose large amounts of money to IRS agent impersonators by sharing personal information through tax scams and fake IRS communication. Keep in mind that the IRS will never contact you by email, text message or social media requesting personal information. Common tax scams often involve threating you with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action if you do not provide information. Please be mindful and cautious when it comes to giving out personal information about yourself or your family. Always verify with the company you are receiving calls from before giving any information out. Take a look at the information listed below of scams that the IRS has received complaints for to keep these in mind.
Type of Scams Impersonating IRS Agents
- Telephone scams targeting taxpayers claiming to be IRS agents using fake identification to gain personal and financial information. Taxpayers are informed that they owe money to the IRS and payment needs to be made immediately. Scammers claim in order for payment to be received promptly it must be through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If a taxpayer does not cooperate scammers will threaten them with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a driver’s license. Another call may inform you that a refund is owed in order to trick you into sharing personal information. If a taxpayer does not answer a phone call scammers will leave an urgent callback request. The IRS will never call demanding payment with specific payment methods they will only contact you through regular mail if you owe back taxes. IRS will never threaten to bring in law enforcement to have a taxpayer arrested for not paying their taxes. Also keep in mind that the IRS will never ask you for financial information for payments over the phone.
- Scam emails are sent targeting taxpayers into believing they are receiving an official communication from the IRS. Emails can request information such as filing status, refunds, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information. A person is redirected to a site designed to imitate that of an official IRS website once link is clicked in the email. A verification process then proceeds to ask the taxpayer to enter their social security number and other personal information. When scammers gather your personal information they can used it to file false tax returns. Email links can carry malware that can infect personal computers allowing criminals to gain access to their files.
- Email Phishing Scams are unsolicited emails from a legitimate tax organization requesting taxpayers to update their personal IRS e-file to ensure their tax return goes smoothly. Scammers create these to gather your information for the purpose of filing a false tax return. If you receive these emails do not respond to them or click on any links. Do not forget that the IRS will never contact you by email to request your personal or financial information. Another email scam you may receive is from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) stating that you are due a refund and you must contact them to receive funds. TAP is a volunteer board that gives advice to the IRS in systemic issue that could affect taxpayers. This organization does not have access to your social security number, PIN number or passwords. As a result, TAP will never contact you requesting for your personal or financial information. Taxpayers with scam emails should forward them to the IRS at email@example.com.
It is important to contact the IRS if you become aware of individuals participating in illegal schemes to avoid paying taxes. Being aware of these schemes and not reporting can result in imprisonment and fines as well as repayment of owed taxes including penalties and interest. You can contact the IRS for requirements and where to send information if you suspect an individual or business of an organized crime.
Most Recent Scams
The IRS has identified a few schemes used by scammers to force taxpayers into paying money or giving personal information:
- Taxpayers receive fake emails from IRS agent impersonators containing an IRS tax bill for a balance owed.
- Telephone scammers targeting students and parents demanding payments for nonexistent federal student taxes.
- Demanding fake tax payments using gift cards.
- Taxpayers receiving phone calls from IRS agent impersonators demanding payment for nonexistent taxes.
- Email scams citing tax fraud and trying to retain social security number from taxpayer.
- Phone calls asking taxpayers to verify tax return information.
Remember that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email to request personal information. Any correspondence sent to you by the IRS will be only via regular mail. As your tax preparers we are here to assist you with any questions and remember your tax return estimate is always free of charge.