Tax filers beware: scammers are working hard this tax season. Their attempts generally increase this time of year, as tax payers are putting together their filings. However, it is likely that fraudsters will find even more success this year as confusion over the new tax law abounds throughout the country.
Tax payers can take steps to protect themselves from becoming a victim. One of the most important steps is to gather some basic knowledge about how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) works. One tip that will help reduce your risk of becoming a victim: it is extremely unlikely that the IRS will call you. The agency is also unlikely to reach out through an email or via social media. Any attempts using these methods are likely a scam.
Instead, if the IRS needs to get a hold of you they are most likely to do so through a mailing.
Another tip: a representative of the IRS will not use vulgar language or threaten to have you arrested. It is very likely you are dealing with a fraudulent contact if the conversation becomes overly threatening or immediate payment is demanded.
Although these attempts at contact and threats are generally fraudulent, a genuine contact from the IRS should not be dismissed.
Those who receive a mailing from the IRS requesting additional information or providing notification of an impending audit are wise to take the contact seriously. The initial communication can escalate, resulting in meetings with officers of the agency. As such, it is wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in tax controversies and litigation matters like audits can represent your interests and better ensure your tax matter is resolved in a timely manner.