Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers target taxpayers by posing as the IRS through the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.*
It is important to remember that The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Rather, The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. There are also circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business. However, even then, the taxpayer will generally receive several notice letters first in the mail.**
Key Signs of IRS Impersonations
- Uses threats to intimidate and bully taxpayers into paying a fabricated tax bill
- Threatens to arrest or deport their would-be victim if they do not comply
- Demands any sort of payment
- Cannot provide forms of official identification, as an actual revenue agent is required to have
How to Avoid Tax Scams
- File Early! The earlier you file, the less exposure to fraud.
- Be mindful of where you are sharing personal information.
- Think before you click. Be aware of red flags in phishing emails or texts.
- Use a security software to protect against phishing and malware.
- Secure your accounts with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
How to Report Impersonation Scams
Taxpayers can use these options to report phone, email and other impersonation scams:
- Report to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting webpage.
- Report IRS Telephone Scams to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Report an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related system like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.