IRS Scams

There has been a recent flurry of activity related to scam artists who are impersonating IRS agents, both through telephone calls and emails.  The scams are sophisticated and convincing, and often turn threatening.  It is worth repeating that the IRS will NEVER call you about your taxes without first sending a written notice in the mail, and will NEVER send an email about a past due tax balance or a refund.  The following excerpt is from a recent article in the Journal of Accountancy:
•According to the IRS, the most serious scams this year are phone scams, in which criminals call intended victims impersonating the IRS. Many times, the callers disguise the number they are calling to look like an IRS number and may threaten the target of the scam with arrest, deportation, or license revocation.
•To protect themselves, taxpayers should be aware the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment; call about taxes owed without first mailing a bill; call to demand payment without the opportunity to question or appeal; require use of a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card; ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to arrest someone for not paying (IR-2015-5).
•Another scam that continues to appear high on the list is “phishing,” in which taxpayers get unsolicited emails trying to obtain financial or personal information. A taxpayer who receives a suspicious email should send it to “The IRS won’t send you an email about a bill or refund out of the blue,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (IR-2015-6).
The IRS has described these two scams in detail on their website.  Links to the articles are below.   
This information was received from our external CPA firm.