What to Know if You Receive an IRS Notice and How to Avoid Scammers

Don’t panic or ignore IRS notices, but be aware of scams

Every year the IRS mails millions of letters and notices to taxpayers, but that doesn’t mean you need to worry. There are a number of reasons the IRS sends notices to taxpayers.

Keep in mind, the IRS sends notices and letters by mail. The agency never contacts taxpayers about their tax account or tax return by email or phone.

Notices are used to request payment of taxes or additional information. The notice you receive normally covers a specific issue about your account or tax return. Each letter and notice offers specific instructions on what you need to do to satisfy the inquiry.

I can help you review the correspondence and respond to the inquiry, if necessary. Be sure to notify me right away when you receive any notice. In most cases, the IRS requires a response within 30 or 60 days.

Please be aware, that this year sophisticated phone scams have been on the rise. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Victims who refuse to cooperate are threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.

What makes these phone calls particularly convincing is that scammers use fake IRS badge numbers and are able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s social security number. Scammers also spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that the call is coming from the IRS. They follow-up the phone call with fake IRS emails to some victims to support the scam calls.

The IRS never asks for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts, even over the phone. If you know you owe taxes or think you might, I can work with you to ensure that you have proper documented contact with the IRS.