There are stories every day of scammers calling or emailing individuals and business owners pretending to be from the IRS and making dramatic claims of investigations and penalties. It can be stressful because the callers are intentionally intimidating.
Here are a few important things you should know so you’re prepared in the case of a fraudulent IRS call/email:
- Most importantly, do not disclose any personal or financial information to any caller claiming to be from the IRS. The caller may have your name, address, and even the last four digits of your social security number. This does not prove that he/she is from the IRS.
- Do not believe threats of police arrest, deportation, or suspension of driver’s license.
- The IRS will not call or email about an individual’s tax return or an audit of an individual’s tax return, without your being first notified by mail.
- The IRS may call a business owner about a business tax return. You will then receive a letter in the mail.
- A legitimate IRS agent will provide his/her badge number and name on the phone. You should make a note of these. They will not ask you for identifying or personal information.
- You can call the police about calls you suspect are fraudulent. The more information you can share, the better. While you have the fraudulent caller on the phone, you can ask for the caller’s name, supposed badge number, phone number, office location, etc. Just remember not to share any of your information with the caller.
If you receive a call that you are uncertain is legitimate or not, call your CPA. It is best to use caution and be alert.