“IRS” Scams and what you need to know to protect yourself

13595730 Taxes Alert Shows Duty Safety And TaxpayerTax season and IRS Scams are right around the corner!

This time of year most people aren’t thinking too hard about their tax situation unless they need prior year tax returns for a big purchase. However, in a couple months we’ll all be scrambling around looking for receipts, paperwork we received from employers, 1099s from investments. Some will even be putting together their business expenses and income from this year to put on their business tax return. It can be a very stressful time of year, just imagine what your accountant is going through!

Either way, as I said, during the year taxes are the last thing on your mind. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing only time will tell. However, one thing that makes everyone stop and think about their taxes is when they receive a phone call, a letter, or an email from “The IRS” claiming that they owe money. What is the first thing that goes through your mind? It is most likely something like: “OH S*%#, what do I do!?” Well, if you have received a letter like that or a phone call or an email, don’t panic! Never panic! Contact your trusted accountant and we will handle everything for you. Not to say we are perfect and never make mistakes, but there is a very good chance it is a scam.

This summer alone, more than $5 Million have been stolen from American tax payers due to an IRS telephone scam and more than 90,000 complaints have been made for similar scams. So how can you protect yourself?

Here is what you should look for and do if you ever receive any type of contact from the IRS.
1) Don’t panic – hold onto all letters and emails and contact your accountant immediately. If it is actually the IRS it does need to be handled in a timely fashion.

2) Don’t give information – The IRS will never ask for your SSN, bank account information, or any other personal information through an email, letter, or phone call.

What to look for:
1) The IRS will never contact you through email or phone call unless they have already been
working with you and you have been assigned to an IRS agent.

2) The IRS will never send a threatening letter or email or call you and threaten you. It just doesn’t happen. Think of them as robots, emotionless robots who only spew out “facts”. Anything else “does not compute!”

3) They will never expect you to make a payment, during the first contact, unless you have come to an agreement.

Remember, if you ever receive anything from the IRS, whether you think it is real or not, please contact your accountant immediately. If it is real, we can negotiate on your behalf and hopefully wave fees and interest. Have penalties taken away. Most importantly, we can potentially get your tax liability down or set up a payment plan. Don’t try to take on the IRS alone, we’re your line of defense!

–Dan