With tax season almost upon us, many different fraudulent schemes come about in order to extort money from all of the hard-working taxpayers. The IRS does want what is coming to them, but it goes about it the legal way. There are several people that officially do not owe money, but yet every year, they fall victim to one of these schemes. They following tips will help protect yourself should you be contacted by ones of these crooks.
- The IRS will never call you on the phone to tell you that you owe money. If you do owe, the IRS will first send you a letter via the United States Post Office telling you how much you owe and how the decision was made. These calls can be threatening; such as telling you that you will be arrested if you do not pay immediately. The bottom line is- if someone calls you claiming to be from the IRS and you have not received a letter and/or you know you do not owe taxes; it is fraud. You can report it to the police or file a complaint with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Please go to www.irs.gov for ways on how to file. When in doubt, you can always call the IRS to verify if you do in fact owe and how to take care of the situation.
- The IRS will not ask for credit card information or banking information from you. This goes with what we first went over. Whether you get an email or phone call, if the person on the other side is demanding this type of personal information from you, it is fraudulent. Once you can substantiate if you do owe anything to the IRS, send a money order or check through the mail.
- The IRS will never contact you via email. If you receive an email claiming that it from the IRS, do not waste your time. As in the first two examples, the crook will be demanding your personal banking information and making threats against you in order to extort money. If you receive an email, report it.
- The IRS will not send you to a website other than www.irs.gov. The IRS has one website: www.irs.gov. The crooks create fake government websites in hopes that you make payments to them. The important fact to remember here is the website www.irs.gov.
- The IRS will not deny you the right to an appeal. You have the right as a taxpaying citizen to appeal decisions made by the IRS. The IRS can make mistakes too. The frauds trying to take your money will demand it immediately, and not give you the chance to tell your side. If you have no option for an appeal, it is fraud.
The biggest point that cannot be emphasized enough is that the IRS will start its correspondence with you by regular mail through the United States Postal Service. Any other way is fraudulent- bottom line. Protect yourself going into this tax season by following these few simple guidelines and you will not fall victim to these crooks.
Not sure if you are being scammed? Contact F & F Business Services, LLC today and we can help.