Tax season may be over, but the threat and fear of IRS scams are still very real. The latest one involves scam artists impersonating IRS representatives who call and threaten arrest if the taxpayer on the other line doesn’t provide a prepaid debit card for payment.
The thief claims that the payment will be processed through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, but the payment actually goes straight to the scammer. The scammer will try to convince the taxpayer that two certified letters were mailed, but returned as undeliverable. As a result, scammers are telling taxpayers they must take action and pay right away, without contacting a legal team or the local IRS office until after the tax payment goes through.
Of course, none of this is true. In fact, it’s very important to tell your clients that the IRS would never threaten arrest, call anyone for immediate payment, or even ask for a credit or debit card by phone.
As always, inform your clients that they must be very diligent and aware of these scams sweeping across the country. The scams are not likely to go away, but whenever in doubt, anyone can contact the IRS at 800-829-1040, view tax account information online, review payment options or look at the Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts IRS page. Here’s the IRS news release on this scam with more details.