Fraudulent contact from people looking to cheat you is an epidemic. The IRS and state agencies have worked hard to help minimize this criminal behavior. But like the “Whack-a-Mole” game at the arcade, it keeps popping up.
Recently the IRS released a Summertime Tax Tip that provides detailed information about how to determine if a contact is actually from the IRS. Following is a summary of the IRS information:
- First contact from the IRS is almost always by mail delivered by the U.S. post office.
- An initial notice received by phone, email, text or social media will almost always be fraudulent.
- Tax payments should only be made to the U.S. Treasury. Never make a check payable to the “IRS”.
- On rare occasions, an IRS agent may arrive unannounced. This is especially true if there is an instance of unpaid taxes or delinquent tax returns. (IMPORTANT: We recommend never have any discussion or communication without your tax advisor present. Provide the agent the name and contact information of your tax advisor and inform your advisor of the situation.)
- If you think you have received a fraudulent communication, contact your tax advisor.
- Remember, as a taxpayer you have rights, thanks to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. In addition, IRS agents have procedures that they are expected to follow.
Criminals are finding new ways to deceive and defraud people every day. If you have any doubt about whether or not a communication from the IRS is “real,” do not hesitate to contact your tax advisor.
If you do receive a valid notice from the IRS, never ignore it! Contact Gray, Gray & Gray’s Tax Department immediately at (781) 407-0300.