Tax filing season may be over for most, but new and emerging tax schemes continue to claim victims. Take a few minutes to read on and arm yourself against these scammers.
Many of these schemes are variations of a theme involving fake tax bills and demands to pay. There is a new scam rolling across the nation that involves the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). These con artists call and demand immediate tax payment. The caller will claim to be from the IRS and usually says that certified letters mailed to the taxpayer were returned as undeliverable. The scammer will then threaten to arrest if payment is not made immediately by a specific prepaid debit card. This “special” debit card is supposedly linked to the EFTPS, when it really is just controlled entirely by the scammer. Lastly, the caller will warn you to not talk to your tax preparer, attorney or the local IRS office until after the payment is made.
“Robo-call” messages continue to be popular this year. Scammers leave pre-recorded messages asking for a call back, and that if you do not call back, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. If you choose to not call back, the scammer demands that you make immediate payment by prepaid debit card or by wire transfer.
Finally, due to the IRS starting to send letters to a small group of taxpayers stating that their overdue federal tax accounts were being assigned to a private-sector collection agency, scammers have started posing as private collection firms. The real firms will ONLY be calling about a tax debt the person has been aware of for years. The IRS would have previously contacted these taxpayers about their tax debt. It will not be a surprise. Be aware, that there are only four collection agencies currently working with the IRS. They will assign cases to these private collection agencies:
P.O. Box 2217
Waterloo, IA 50704
P.O. Box 307
Fairport, NY 14450-0307
P.O. Box 9045
Pleasanton CA 94566-9045
PO Box 500
Horseheads, NY 14845
These scams all revolve around phone calls, whereas the IRS primarily communicates through mail. If the IRS does call you, make sure they are one of the four collection agencies, and they are talking about a known tax debt. If you have received a letter from the IRS and need help dealing with them, feel free to give us a call. We will tell you exactly where you stand with the IRS and the options available to you.