By: Linda Fargo, CPA, CGMA- Tax Manager
Just because the tax deadline is a thing of the past (until next April, that is), it doesn’t mean scammers aren’t still out in full force. We have warned many times over that the IRS will not contact you via telephone to discuss any matter. U.S. Mail is their first form of contact. It is important to keep this in mind as bogus phone calls that you could receive from someone claiming to be with IRS become more specific in nature.
The IRS recently warned that scammers are calling college students to demand payment for the “Federal Student Tax.” This tax does not exist. This is a scam. The phony IRS representative often asks the student to wire money to them immediately, and if they fail to do so, they will be reported to the police.
But students aren’t the only new targets and fresh scams to be reported to the IRS. New tactics seen recently include scammers calling saying they are seeking immediate payment for taxes owed on an iTunes gift card. Or, they solicit W-2 information from those that work in human resource and on payroll for companies. Another scam involves stating the need to verify tax return information over the phone. These new scams present the perfect opportunity to stay vigilant and remember the following in order to protect yourself and your personal information:
The IRS will never:
- Call and demand payment over the phone.
- State that local police or law enforcement will become involved if you don’t pay the money they claim you owe.
- Make you use a certain method to pay for your taxes. Many times scammers claim prepaid debit cards is the way you must pay up.
- Ask for information such as your credit card or debit number over the phone.
Being vigilant means acting quickly- should you get a call from a scammer, simply hang up the phone right away. Then report the incident to the Federal Tax Commission at www.FTC.gov.
Please contact Holbrook & Manter today for more information on how you can protect yourself from tax scams. We would be happy to assist you.