Jane had no reason to think she owed any taxes. She was scared and hurried to our office. We requested Jane’s IRS account transcripts. You can request IRS transcripts through the IRS website here.
We examined the transcripts. There were no balances due and all returns had been filed. It appeared that she was in compliance. John’s phone call was most likely a scam.
The IRS and Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) have each issued warnings regarding IRS scams.
Many people have reported this type of aggressive IRS phone scam. As stated in the IRS scam alert, some characteristics of this IRS scam include:
- Using fake names and IRS badge numbers;
- Reciting part of the taxpayer’s Social Security Number;
- Changing the caller ID information to appear as if the IRS is calling;
- Sending fake emails in an attempt to support the fake phone calls;
- Using background noise to mimic a call center; and
- Calling back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID information supports their claim.
The IRS scam alert specifically provides that “[t]he IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.”
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and you owe or might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. If you do not owe taxes or have no reason to think you owe any taxes, call and report the incident to the TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484.
We were concerned about Jane. We’ve heard that scammers may show up at the taxpayer’s home after calling and threaten to arrest the taxpayer if the taxpayer refuses to pay any money. In such a case, the taxpayer should immediately call the real police.
Submitted by Peter J. Graziano on