Even with the tax filing season over for most, the IRS urges taxpayers to stay alert to new schemes involving the tax system. A new scam is linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). In this case, con artists call to demand immediate tax payment. The caller claims to be from the IRS and says that two certified letters have been return as undeliverable. The scammer threatens arrest if a payment is not made immediately by a specific prepaid debit card. Victims are told the debit card is linked to EFTPS, when in reality it is controlled by the scammer.
Another type of scam is a prerecorded, urgent message asking for a call back. The IRS will not initiate contact via phone! In this tactic, the scammers tell victims if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Those who respond are told they must make immediate payment either by debit card or wire transfer.
The IRS has started sending letters to a relatively small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies. Taxpayers should watch for scammers posing as private collection firms. The IRS-authorized firms will only be calling about a tax debt the person has had, and has been aware of, for years.
Signs of a Scam. The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as debt card, gift card, or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. The IRS will usually first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to U.S. Treasury, not 3rd parties.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Contact us today or reach out to your tax preparer to confirm if a request is legitimate.