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You can’t pay back taxes via iTunes

We’ve covered many tax scams on this blog. Possibly the most common is a caller impersonating an IRS agent. The new variant is that the caller demands you pay your back tax obligation with an iTunes gift card.

First, we must say it again – the IRS will not contact you out of the blue over the phone. You will receive a form in the mail called a Notice of Deficiency if the Service spots a mathematical mistake or other error that results in a higher tax bill. You then have a chance to respond and challenge the notice.

Our March 15 post and April 7 post highlight some of the recent changes in tactics from a simple sounding request to verify personal details to sophisticated spoofing of executive emails.

The Detroit Free Press reported on the April warning that indicated scam artists had changed their tune yet again. The scam artists want money on iTunes gift cards to buy products or re-sell them online.

Targeting the most vulnerable

Second, the targets are often vulnerable seniors. If you have an older relative or friend who mentions a call from the IRS, ask questions. This may even provide a clue that they are no longer in a position to handle their finances on their own.

In a story out of Canada, a woman was convinced that if she did not put money onto iTunes cards to pay her back taxes she would be arrested by local authorities. She put a substantial sum onto these cards. She even tried to withdraw more but her family was able to step in.

When you owe back taxes, get good advice from an experienced tax attorney. There are programs available to stretch out the amount of time you have to pay your tax bill. In certain cases, you may also be able to get the bill reduced.

 

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