On this blog, we have followed a number of different tax scams over the years. Each summer, there seems to be a slightly different variant of a tax phone scam. And this summer is no different.
The latest notification from the IRS is of a scam linked to Electronic Federal Tax Payment Systems (EFTPS). A person calls claiming to be with the IRS (caller ID may even show the call is from the IRS) and then demands you make an immediate payment with a prepaid debit card.
Certified letters have been returned
To sound more authentic, this person then asserts that the IRS has sent you two certified letters, but they have both been returned undeliverable.
This ties directly into normal IRS protocol, because the Service’s first contact is through the mail. But this person gives himself or herself away as a scammer with the next part of the call by demanding immediate payment through a debit card. What makes it sound more real is that the caller claims the card is linked to the EFTPS system. But this is another lie.
This demand is followed up with a threat of police action. A ‘real’ IRS collection agent will never demand immediate payment through a prepaid debit card. And the Service never threatens to immediately send a law enforcement officer to arrest you for nonpayment.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen again cautioned taxpayers that even though tax season is over for the year, “scams and schemes do not take the summer off.” The first contact from the IRS is always in letter form and not "random, threatening phone calls."
If you have worries about a back tax balance and how to resolve it, speak with a tax attorney who can help you determine the best solution in your unique circumstances.