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Tax scams vs. legitimate IRS inquires

Tax scams will likely continue and possibly even increase. One possible reason there are so many tax scams that exist is because of taxpayer confusion regarding the new tax laws. When a scammer claims a taxpayer is not in compliance with the law and asks for additional information, many taxpayers believe the request is from the IRS.

There are a number of ways for taxpayers to protect themselves from scams, however. A firm understanding of how the IRS operates can provide protection. For example, the IRS is not going to first inform you of an investigation by contacting you by telephone.

And they will never attempt to initially contact you through social media or email. The IRS is especially not going to request personal or financial information in this manner. The IRS likes to do its business through the U.S. post office.

Unfortunately, scam artists can create emails that look entirely legitimate. It may even include a link that you will not wish to click upon.

The IRS has its own website to report phishing scams at [email protected].

Report any threatening communications to authorities

If a communication begins with a threat to have you arrested, it’s likely a scam. IRS agents adhere to a certain type of conduct, and they prefer to resolve tax matters civilly.

However, if there is reason to believe the contact is coming from a genuine IRS employee, it would be a mistake to dismiss what they say. Ignoring mailings from the IRS can result in an escalating situation.

The IRS can severely penalize individuals for not complying with reporting and rules. A prompt response to IRS inquiries is always a good idea. However, it is useful to receive legal advice from a skilled tax attorney before giving any formal response – especially if it could possibly result in criminal charges.

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