The telephone and email are generally always the communication weapons of choice for tax scammers. They reach out to you via these methods and claim that you owe the IRS money or that the IRS is planning to take legal action against you. Now, we are receiving word that tax scammers are adding U.S. Mail to their arsenal. This is where vigilance becomes very important for taxpayers as to not confuse a piece of counterfeit mail from the IRS with the real thing. Because, as we have told you before- the IRS will always reach out via U.S. Mail in the case of a real issue. Not be telephone, email etc.
The IRS warns that scammers are sending out fake IRS tax bills labeled as CP2000 notices. This scam is not only being circulated in hard copy form through the mail- it can also come to you via email. The IRS shares the following signs that the bill is fake on their website:
- The CP2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas, address;
- The letter says the issue is related to the Affordable Care Act and requests information regarding 2014 coverage;
- The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C;
- Requests checks made out to I.R.S. and sent to the “Austin Processing Center” at a post office box.
What is a CP2000 notice and how you can spot an authentic one? A CP2000 is issued when income reported from third party sources such as an employer does not match the income reported on the tax return. It outlines instructions for the taxpayer regarding what to do in the event that they agree or disagree with what is listed on the notice. Also, a legitimate CP2000 will ask that checks be made out to the United States Treasury, not to a processing center.
No matter how a tax scam finds you or what it asks you to do -if it doesn’t feel right you need to report it. Visit this link to learn more about reporting phishing and online scams to the IRS: https://www.irs.gov/uac/report-phishing
As always, H&M can help walk you through the process and help implement proactive measures to protect you from being a target for scammers. Contact us today for more information.