Summer is coming and that means the IRS will soon be updating their Dirty Dozen, which is the bureau’s annual list of the most notable tax scams in the country.
Every year these scams become more sophisticated and difficult to spot – but if you follow these simple tips, recognizing the red flags of a tax scam becomes second nature:
Know that the IRS will never contact you directly over the phone. Anyone who calls claiming to be an agent is undoubtedly a bad actor, even if the caller ID appears to be from the IRS.
- Fraudulent emails claiming to be the IRS will almost always include an attachment to download or a link for you to click. Always hover over any link before clicking to verify the address you will be directed to.
- Scammers try to push victims to act fast. A legitimate IRS communication will never be marked as urgent and pressure you to immediately provide personal information. The IRS will never threaten to arrest or deport you.
- If you owe the IRS money, the initial communication will ALWAYS be a physical letter. Ignore any contact initiated by text, email or via social media.
- The IRS will NEVER ask you to send an immediate payment via gift card or wire transfer.
Be aware that scammers will often gather information about you from social media or other sources and may even know the last 4 digits of your social security number.
When in doubt, your best safeguard against potential IRS scams is to ask the person who has contacted you for the case number so you can call back to the official IRS hotline to check the validity of this number.
Remember that the Accountability Services tax team is always here for you if you need help identifying a tax scam. Contact us at taxteam@AccountabilityServices.com before giving personal information to someone who has contacted you about your taxes.