Randolph Law Firm, P.C.

IRS spreads the word to taxpayers: Beware of tax refund fraud

Tax refund fraud appears to be the main news item reported by the IRS this past week. The agency is making a concerted effort to try and get a handle on the problem of fake collection scams, which have been reported nationwide, including in Nevada. In press releases, the IRS is warning people who may get calls "out of the blue" from someone telling you to pay your tax bill now or else.

These are scams, and the taxpayer should not listen or cooperate. It's really a matter of common sense in that a legitimate federal employee will advise the taxpayers of their right to appeal, to challenge the bill and to do so without paying it first. Additionally, a true IRS employee would offer an individual several optional methods of payment.

Another development reported by the IRS is that criminals have resorted to new methods of executing the scam, over and above using he telephone: they now also send bogus mailings, emails and faxed forms. In that respect, the emailed or faxed notice may try to get the taxpayer to verify certain information, which can then be used in an identity theft scheme to collect the individual's tax refund. One solid piece of advice from the agency is that the IRS does not send emails, and the recipient should not open the message, should not open any attachments and should delete the item after sending a copy to the official IRS phishing page, where it can be investigated.

If a purported IRS letter or fax does not provide instructions on how to respond on the IRS website, then it is fake. If the instructions on the letter or fax don't jive with the instructions on the IRS website, then the item is not likely legitimate. Citizens of Nevada and every other state are called upon to exercise a greater degree of concern in filtering out these types of illegal schemes that are designed to steal taxpayer money.

Source: yourerie.com, "Scammers Posing As IRS Employess", July 2, 2015

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