Small Business Taxes & Management
How the IRS Contacts Taxpayers
Small Business Taxes & ManagementTM--Copyright 2018, A/N Group, Inc.
Gotten one of those scam calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS? Often they're demanding money and threaten some sort of action if you don't respond quickly. Despite what you think, that's not the way the IRS works. Or they may be looking for personal information such as birthdates, social security numbers, etc. That's not the way the IRS contacts taxpayers. The article below will help you avoid becoming a victim of scammers who pretend to be from the IRS with a goal of stealing personal information. Here are some facts about how the IRS communicates with taxpayers:
- The IRS doesn't normally initiate contact with taxpayers by email.
- The agency does not send text messages or contact people through social media.
- When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the first contact is normally by letter delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Fraudsters will send fake documents through the mail, and in some cases will claim they already notified a taxpayer by U.S. mail.
- Depending on the situation, IRS employees may first call or visit with a taxpayer. In some instances, the IRS sends a letter or written notice to a taxpayer in advance, but not always.
- IRS revenue agents or tax compliance officers may call a taxpayer or tax professional after mailing a notice to confirm an appointment or to discuss items for a scheduled audit.
- Private debt collectors can call taxpayers for the collection of certain outstanding inactive tax liabilities, but only after the taxpayer and their representative have received written notice.
- IRS revenue officers and agents routinely make unannounced visits to a taxpayer’s home or place of business to discuss taxes owed, delinquent tax returns or a business falling behind on payroll tax deposits. IRS revenue officers will request payment of taxes owed by the taxpayer. However, taxpayers should remember that payment will never be requested to a source other than the U.S. Treasury.
- The IRS will never ask for payment in any form other than a check, or, if payment is online it would be to DirectPay or EFTPS.gov.
- If the contact is by other than the U.S. mail, you almost assuredly will know there's an issue. For example, you've been dealing with an agent, you've received more than one letter in the mail, you've moved and haven't left a forwarding address, you haven't filed returns, you know you owe money, etc.
- Still unsure? Call your tax advisor.
- When visited by someone from the IRS, the taxpayers should always ask for credentials. IRS representatives can always provide two forms of official credentials: a pocket commission and a Personal Identity Verification Credential.
Copyright 2018 by A/N Group, Inc. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is distributed with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The information is not necessarily a complete summary of all materials on the subject. Copyright is not claimed on material from U.S. Government sources.--ISSN 1089-1536
--Last Update 07/24/18