Is it a Scam or the IRS?

Many times, scammers will pose as the IRS to get sensitive information from you or your client. If your client is contacted by the IRS, it is important for you to first verify if it was the IRS or a scam. Sometimes it can be hard to tell.

The first thing to remember about the IRS is they will never call or email you or your clients. The IRS will always send letters in the mail. It is also important to know the signs of a scammer:

  • Scammers will demand payment immediately for taxes owed. The IRS will send you a bill in the mail.
  • Scammers will not give you the option to question or appeal a tax penalty. The IRS will give you the chance to oppose a proposed owed amount.
  • Scammers will require you to use specific payment methods, much like a prepaid debit card. The IRS will provide many options for you to settle your bill.
  • Scammers will ask for your personal information over the phone.
  • Scammers will threaten to involve law-enforcement if you refuse to pay the amount due.

If your client receives a call or email from someone you believe to be a scammer, you can report the information to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or to the Federal Trade Commission.

Most importantly, don’t respond to the scammer. Encourage your clients to contact you first if anyone from the IRS contacts them.

Want information on how to keep your client’s data safe? Check out our last posts about computer and office security:

IRS Urges Tax Professionals to Protect Client Data

Protecting Your Computer Protects Your Clients