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As Tax Season Nears, IRS Issues a Warning About Tax Scams

News, Offshore Account Update

Posted in on November 12, 2021

It’s the Holiday Season, and that means that tax season is right around the corner. It also means that U.S. taxpayers need to be careful to protect themselves from tax scams. The IRS notes that “[i]n recent years, tax schemes and scams have been on the rise,” and it is warning taxpayers about two types of schemes, in particular, this year. Maryland IRS lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, explains:

IRS Warns of Email Phishing and Phone Scams

While the IRS has identified several types of tax scams, it focuses on two specific types of scams in its November 4, 2021 IRS Tax Tip. Although scammers have become increasingly innovative and sophisticated, it seems that some may be returning to tried-and-true methods of targeting unsuspecting taxpayers. The IRS Tax Tip discusses:

  • Email Phishing Scams – Tax scammers will often contact taxpayers via email. However, “[t]he IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.” If you receive an email that purports to be from an IRS agent, the IRS says that you should not respond, open any attachments or click any links.
  • Phone Scams – While the IRS does contact taxpayers by phone, it “generally first mails a bill to [a] taxpayer who owes taxes.” As a result, if you receive a call that is purportedly from the IRS and you have not previously received communication from an agent, the IRS advises that you should “[n]ot give out any information,” and “[h]ang up immediately.”

The IRS also notes that it will not:

  • Leave pre-recorded or threatening messages
  • Threaten to call the police, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Direct you to make payment to any third party
  • Demand immediate payment with a debit card or wire transfer
  • Demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed

What Happens if You Fall Victim to a Tax Scam?

If you fail to file your taxes because you hire a sham tax preparer or you pay a scam artist instead of the IRS, what should you do? Unfortunately, despite what happened, you could still be at risk for federal tax penalties.

The IRS cannot distinguish between a taxpayer who has intentionally underpaid and a taxpayer who has fallen victim to a tax scam. As a result, you will need to address your situation proactively, and you will need to work with an experienced Maryland IRS lawyer to make sure you protect yourself to the fullest extent possible. While you may have options available, choosing the best option for your individual circumstances will require an in-depth understanding of IRS procedures and the Internal Revenue Code.

Speak to Maryland IRS Lawyer Kevin E. Thorn Today

If you have questions about your federal tax obligations, or if you run into an issue with the IRS, we can help. To request a confidential initial consultation with Maryland IRS lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, call 240-235-5096, email ket@thornlawgroup.com or contact us online today.

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