The IRS recently published an article that spells out how they will contact a taxpayer. The IRS initiates conversation first by mail, then after the mail is received there may be a phone call or visit from an IRS agent. They also listed the mediums that are not used by the IRS to initiate contact. The IRS does not use email, text messaging, or social media to initiate contact with taxpayers. If an IRS agent (or someone pretending to be an agent) shows up at your door, you can ask to see their two forms of official credentials: a pocket commission and a Personal Identity Verification Credential (PIV). If the person doesn’t have these forms of identification, they are not an actual IRS agent.
When paying taxes, remember that ALL tax payments are to the U.S. Treasury. If someone asks you to use a preloaded debit card or wire transfer to make a payment, it is fraudulent.
Scams related to IRS contacting a taxpayer are abundant, and it is good to know if it is really the IRS calling or knocking on your door or if it is a scammer. Read more about how to know if the phone call you received is really from the IRS here. If you have any questions related to a phone call you have received, please contact us before making any quick decisions. Scammers often try to play on emotions and get the taxpayers to make quick decisions without verifying if the phone call is legitimate. The IRS will never be hostile or insulting, and they never demand immediate payment without time to process or appeal the letter or notice they have sent.