WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail.
Other characteristics of this scam include:
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to email@example.com.
More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.
IRS YouTube Video:
March 3 (Farmers & fishermen)
File your 2013 income tax return (Form 1040) and pay any tax due - Details
March 10 (Employees who work for tips)
If you received $20 or more in tips during February, report them to your employer - Details
March 17 (Corporations)
File a 2013 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due - Details
March 17 (S Corporations)
File a 2013 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120S) and pay any tax due - Details
March 17 (S Corporations)
S Corporation Election: File Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation, to elect to be treated as an S corporation beginning with calendar year 2014 - Details
March 17 (Partnerships)
Electing Large Partnerships: Provide each partner with a copy of Schedule K-1 (Form 1065-B), Partner's Share of Income (Loss) From an Electing Large Partnership, or a substitute Schedule K-1 - Details
March 31 (All businesses)
File Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, and W-2G with the IRS. This due date applies only if you file electronically - Details