Beware of IRS Scams

Be alert for IRS scams! I had a client call me a few days ago panicking because they received a phone call from the IRS saying there were going to be proceeding with collections. The client was scared (as anyone who received a threatening phone call likely would be) and called me right away to see what they could do about it. I am so happy they called because I was able to tell them that the phone call was a complete scam. The IRS will never call you to collect a tax debt. I repeat, the IRS will NEVER call you to collect a tax debt. They will send you a letter to notify you that your tax bill is past due. Then they’ll send you a letter saying they intend to levy your bank account if you do not respond within a certain period of time. Then they will levy the account. They do not call and tell you about the levy. Notification is only received through the mail. Oftentimes people will get the threatening phone call and pay the debt because they feel like they have to. Your better option is to call the IRS back on a legitimate phone number and verify the debt. They’ll work with you to set up a payment plan and are generally flexible with whatever amount you want to pay as long as you pay off the balance due (including penalties and interest) within two years. If you need longer than the two years to pay off the tax debt there are other arrangements that can be made. No matter what happens, just remember the phone calls are a scam to get your information. Do not give them any identifying information. Be sure to file your taxes on time or file an extension. Payment plans can’t be set up if you have not filed the tax return because the IRS cannot verify how much you’ll owe.

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