Have a landline? You might have already received a call telling you that you owe the IRS money. The automated message provides a phone number to call to provide payment and more information to the IRS. Some callers even impersonate IRS agents, stating you may be at risk of arrest, license revocation, and other consequences if you don’t pay immediately.
Unfortunately, these are scams. In January, the Treasure Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) stated they received about 896,000 reports since October 2013 of these scams and determined that more than 5,000 victims have paid more than $26.5 million to criminals.
Protect yourself! The IRS will never ask for immediate payment over the phone, demand that you pay without the opportunity to appeal, require a specific payment method, request credit or debt card numbers over the phone, or threaten legal or police action if you do not pay.
If you receive a call, here’s what you should do.
- Hang up immediately and do not give any information.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.