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First contact from IRS always by mail not phone warns IRS

Even though tax season is long over that has not stopped phone scammers warns the Internal Revenue Service.

In Bell County, Texas, an elderly woman lost $2,500 in an IRS phone scam. The woman received a call from a person claiming to be with the IRS. The caller told the woman she owed back taxes and the IRS would issue a warrant if she did not pay over the phone. The woman bought prepaid debit cards and called a 202 area code phone number to pay the purported debt.

This week in a press release, the IRS along with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration warned of sophisticated phone scams. After a review of the 90,000 complaints received, TIGTA noted that approximately 1,100 victims had lost an estimated $5 million.

The agency warned that it never calls out of the blue. The first correspondence is always via mail and in the form of a notice.

A common notice is the CP2000 issued when there is a mismatch between information provided by an employer (on a 1099-MISC for a contractor) and on your return. Usually this will affect your tax return and could result in more taxes owed.

However, even if you owe more tax, the IRS will never demand payment via credit card, debit card or prepaid card over the telephone. The agency does not threaten jail time or revoke driver’s licenses.

The IRS uses written notifications to begin the collection process. The agency can file an IRS tax lien or use a tax levy to take money from a bank account or begin wage garnishment. When you receive an IRS collections notice, contact a tax attorney who can discuss strategies to get out from under the accumulating tax debt.

 

Source: KWKT.com, "Woman loses $2,500 to IRS phone scam," Alexis Spears, August 1, 2014.

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