Warning number one: The IRS does not initiate contact with individuals by calling. They always send a formal letter on IRS stationary when contacting anyone regarding unpaid taxes.
So, if anyone calls you claiming to be the IRS, ask for a telephone number. Tell them you’ll call them back. Better yet, tell them you’ll have your attorney call them back.
Warning number two: the IRS does not threaten, intimidate, nor do they use aggressive language.
IRS tax scams are reaching epidemic proportions. I get calls every week from clients and prospective clients saying that the IRS has called them threatening arrest, seizure of assets and worse. Do not be afraid of these callers no matter how threatening they sound.
Warning number three: The IRS does not contact you through email asking for personal information. If you receive an email regarding your tax refund, do not reply, open any attachments or click any links.
Warning number four: Tax return preparers. Most preparers file honest tax returns. However there are a few red flags to beware of, such as preparers who don’t offer electronic filing, who offer to file your return without a W-2 form, or who don’t sign your return or enter their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs).
Always protect your personal information. Do not give anyone who calls or emails you saying they are from the IRS your social security number, bank account numbers or any other personal information.
Report any suspicious calls or emails that appear to be tax scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.