The I.R.S. Does Not Text You Asking For Money: What You Need To Know About Tax Season Scams
With Tax Season quickly approaching, so to is the time Con Artists start pretending to be tax-collectors. Being prepared for Tax Season goes beyond just filing your taxes. Knowing how the I.R.S. and your State’s Tax Department normally make contact helps keep you and your family safe from these scams.
From the I.R.S.’s own website: “The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal information.” (https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing) If you do receive contact from the I.R.S. about your taxes, it will be in the form of a Notice mailed directly to the Taxpayer’s home address.
So what do you do if you or a family member receives a suspicious correspondence?
-If it is a call: hang up. If you got a name, badge number, or call back number, try calling the I.R.S. at 1-800-366-4484 to confirm if it is a real call from an I.R.S. employee.
-If it is a text message or email: ignore and delete it. It is also important to NOT open any attachments included.
-If it is a Letter or Notice:
- Attempt to confirm if it is a real Notice or if it is fake by using irs.gov resources.
- To check if the Notice is a valid form issues by the I.R.S., you can review the databases of Notices:https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Understanding-Your-IRS-Notice-or-Letter
- To confirm the “please send payment to the following address…” is a valid I.R.S. address, you can compare it to the public list: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-California
- Bring the Letter to a Tax Professional, such as an Accountant, CPA, EA, or Tax Attorney. They can help determine if it is valid, and if so how to respond.