The Anchorage Police Department observed an increasing number of reports from citizens about people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Through phone, email, or letters with authentic looking IRS letterhead, a lot of taxpayers has already been victimized to provide personal financial information and made false tax payment that ended up in the pocket of the IRS scammers. These telephone scam artists can sound convincing when they talk to you. They may know a lot about you, and turn their caller ID to make you believe that it is really the IRS calling. Without careful analysis, it may be confusing to spot the fake from the official IRS.
“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business.”
By knowing how to spot and report IRS scammers, you can protect yourself and other people around you. Here are the following tips to prevent such unwanted scenarios:
Know the Tell-Tale Sign of a Scam
According to the www.irs.gov, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Contact the Official IRS
If you owe taxes and you would like to settle your balance, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS workers can help you with the payment issue and grant you the peace of mind that the entire process would be safe and official.
If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 at www.tigta.gov would be glad to help you.
You can file your complaint at the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Remember to include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
Also take note that the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages, or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.
Importance of Having A Tax Advisor
A tax advisor is an expert in the financial field, and his/her training in tax law could be a really big help for you to interpret issues of a financial nature. Whenever you would encounter such confusing scenarios, a tax advisor would be glad to assist you and help you decide not based on fear, but by legal grounds. Tax laws are changing all the time and tax advisors learn constantly about the latest development in order to provide accurate advice. Rest assured that they’re capable of providing expert opinion to whichever concern you present.
With the right knowledge and awareness, scammers stand no chance in fooling anyone into a false threats and no hard-earned money shall ever be put into criminals’ hands again. Cooperating with IRS and a tax advisor would help you make informed decisions, and hopefully, report of complaints shall decline.