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8/03/2017

Avoid IRS Scammers: 3 Ways the IRS Contacts Taxpayers

As technology continues to grow and become even more modernized, the threat of scammers still exists. Tax scammers contact taxpayers in an attempt to collect funds that they claim are owed to the IRS.  If you are unaware of the ways that IRS contacts taxpayers, you may be taken advantage of and become a victim of a sneaky tax scammer.

Luckily, we’ve done some research and found that there are only three ways of contact that the Internal Revenue Service uses. These methods of contact include:

  1. Mail - In most cases, the first point of contact from the IRS is normally by letter, which will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. It is very unlikely that the IRS will contact you via email, by text message, or even through social media channels.

  1. Phone Call - Based upon the severity of the situation at hand, IRS employees also known as IRS revenue officers, may contact you by phone. These officers work directly with taxpayers to educate them about options to resolve any delinquencies they may have as well as attempting to collect past due taxes and tax returns, while protecting the rights of the taxpayer. Other representatives from the IRS that may contact you are:
    1. IRS Revenue Agents or Tax Compliance Officers - these agents or officers may contact you to confirm an appointment or discuss items for a scheduled audit, in which you were notified about through a mailed notice.
    2. Private Debt Collectors - These collectors can call taxpayers for the collection of certain outstanding inactive tax liabilities after a taxpayer and their representative have received written notice.

  1. Physical Visits - Revenue Officers can make unannounced visits routinely to a taxpayer’s home or place of business to discuss delinquent tax returns, owed taxes, a business that has fallen behind on payroll tax deposits. Payment requests of taxes owed by the taxpayer will be made, but payment will never be requested to be paid to a source other than the US Treasury.  Other necessary visits may include:
    1. Audit - IRS Revenue Agents will usually visit a taxpayer or tax professional to conduct an audit after a notice has been mailed and/or a specific date and time has been designated to meet and discuss tax matters.
    2. Investigation - Criminal investigators, who are federal law enforcement agents may visit to conduct a necessary investigation but will demand any type of payment.

Whether it is a phone call or a physical visit, ALWAYS ask for credentials. Representatives of the IRS should be able to provide two official forms of credentials: 1) Pocket Commission [describes the specific authority & responsibilities of the authorized holder] and 2) Personal Identity Verification Credential [government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification for federal employees and contractors].

All payments should be made to the U.S. Treasury and should never be paid with a preloaded debit card or wire transfer. Specific guidelines for tax payments can be found at https://www.irs.gov/payments. Also, IRS employees and contracts will never be hostile, demand payment without allowing taxpayers the opportunity to ask questions or appeal the amount, require a specific payment method, threaten with lawsuits, arrest, or deportation, or ask for credit/debit card numbers over the phone.

To avoid scammers or filing late, simply file a quick and easy extension with ExpressExtension and receive extra time to get those taxes filed. We’re always here to help so feel free to give us a call at 803.514.5155 or email us at support@expressextension.com for any assistance you may need.

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