Scam Phone Calls: The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert providing taxpayers with tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and posing as the IRS. These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due in hopes of tricking you into sharing private information.
Don’t be fooled, as these con artists can sound convincing and may know a lot about you. They usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling and use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. The IRS reminds people that identifying a fake IRS caller is relatively easy; below are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will never do:
- Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, the IRS advises you to do the following:
- If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
- If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
Email Phishing Scam: The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam in which the email will appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus website intended to mirror the official IRS website. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately”. Although these emails may seem legitimate and mention USA.gov and IRS.gov, don’t get scammed! These emails are not coming from the IRS, as the IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, texting, or any social media.
Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information, visit the IRS’s Report Phishing web page.
IRS2Go Mobile App: The 2014 Version of the IRS2Go is now available! This new version has a brand new look and feel with new added features. The app is available in both English and Spanish and allows you to check the status of your federal income refund or request your tax return or account transcript through your smartphone. You can even use it to help you locate an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site near your home. If you have an Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can download the free IRS2Go app by visiting the iTunes app store. If you have an Android device, you can visit Google Play to download the free IRS2Go app.
For more information, contact Padgett Business Services in Bothell, Washington at (425) 408-1695. We handle your bookkeeping, accounting, tax (personal & business) and payroll needs – so you can focus on what makes you money. Serving Bothell, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Mill Creek and surrounding areas.