One of the more frightening calls a person can receive is one from a government agent. For instance, a call from someone at the IRS can immediately send you into a panic. In the event that you are contacted by someone from the IRS, it will be crucial that you take seriously whatever they are saying and/or requesting.
However, chances are, you won’t just be contacted by them out of the blue. In fact, if you do receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, there is a chance that you are being targeted by a scam. In this post, we will explain some differences between a legitimate call from the IRS and one that is unlawful.
Some red flags of a scam include someone:
- Demanding payment immediately
- Accepting payment in the form of gift cards
- Using abusive language or making threats that you will be arrested
- Making robo-calls or using masked numbers
If a request for payment is legitimate, the IRS will:
- Mail you several bills before trying to contact you by phone
- Never ask you to “verify” information by asking you to provide financial and/or personal information
- Inform you of your options to ask questions about what you owe or file an appeal
- Inform you of your options for repayment rather than demanding you pay right away
Recently, about 6,400 people fell victim to a nationwide IRS scam and paid a total of more than $36 million to the scammers. Arrests have been made, but IRS scams are not new and they will likely continue to plague people all across Atlanta.
However, while you don’t want to be among the people who wind up paying money they don’t owe, you also don’t want to ignore a legitimate request from the IRS.
If you have questions about whether communication from someone claiming to be an IRS agent is valid, you can discuss your rights as a taxpayer with an attorney. A tax lawyer will be able to inform you of how to respond to lawful requests by the IRS and how you can avoid paying money you do not owe.