Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Your Accountant Receives Fake Robot IRS Messages Too!

You might be surprised to find out that your own accountant gets loads of threatening messages from the Fake IRS. The truth is, no one is immune. I heard from a friend who works at the IRS that it's a fun hobby in the IRS breakroom to laugh at the Fake IRS voicemail messages that all of the real IRS agents receive.

In this recording, a Robot IRS Agent claims that a warrant has been issued for my arrest and that I'm being monitored by evil robots. I can avoid repercussions for my vague and non-specific tax crimes if I call the Robot IRS Agent back. 

This robot was lurking outside my office. Spying.

I didn't call the Fake IRS back, and neither should you. If you have concerns about messages you've received from the "IRS," please contact me so we can look into it legitimately.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Why Smart People Fall For IRS Phone Scams

The IRS is not calling you.

We reviewed all of the reasons why the IRS is not calling you in last month's post. So why is it that smart people fall for IRS phone scams?

Scammers are persistent.

The fake IRS is persistent, and taxpayers don’t really understand how the real IRS works. The fake IRS’ persistence combined with the taxpayer’s ignorance starts to eat away at your confidence.

The scammers may have a lot of your personal information.

The fake IRS frequently has a lot of personal information about you. They may know your full name, your address, and all or part of your Social Security Number (most commonly, the last four digits). 

It’s important to remember that none of that information is very private. Heck, every time I call the cable company, they ask for the last four digits of my SSN to confirm my identity. So does my credit card company. And my cell phone company. And let’s not forget about Experian and the IRS – both of whom have been hacked in recent years.

Maybe you really do owe taxes.

Sometimes the taxpayer might actually owe the IRS money. To them, it seems reasonable that the IRS is calling them to demand payment. As discussed previously though, calling you about your tax debt really isn’t part of their collections process.

You're honest.

And finally, most people a fundamentally good people who want to do the right thing and stay out of trouble. The fake IRS preys on this.

What to do if you still have doubts?

Hang up the phone and go Google the real IRS’ phone number. Call it. Wait an hour on hold. Talk to the real IRS.

OR – Hang up the phone and make a payment directly to the IRS. Go to their website or look in the instructions for your tax form, look up the address, and mail a payment to the IRS. Alternatively, you can pay them online via IRS Directpay.

Do not write down the phone number that the fake IRS gives you. Do not write down the address that the fake IRS gives you. Go look up that information.

And last but not least: CALL YOUR ACCOUNTANT!

Seriously, if you have an accountant, just let them handle it. Don’t call the IRS on your own. Call your accountant.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The IRS Is Not Calling You

If you’re like me, you’ve received calls from the fake IRS.

Your first instinct when “the IRS” calls you is probably that it’s a scam.

But if you’re like a lot of people, you’ve started to experience doubts due to the sheer persistence of these IRS calls. After all, you don’t want to ignore the real IRS, right?

The IRS is Not Calling You.

But how can I be so sure?

The call is often automated. It usually threatens a civil lawsuit or a criminal charge – usually both. The fake IRS will leave voicemail.

The real IRS has some fairly serious privacy restrictions. The real IRS can’t leave a voicemail or use an automated message to inform you about your tax situation, because they don’t know who might listen to that message. 

Let’s go beyond that and examine the threats.

The real IRS doesn’t sue you. It doesn’t need to sue you. If the IRS has determined you have tax debt, it has the power to file a lien, garnish your wages, seize assets, all without taking you to court. They have a long list of processes they need to follow before they can do all of that – but a civil lawsuit is not part of that process. Ever heard of Tax Court? You initiate that when you disagree with the IRS. You take the IRS to court when you disagree with it, not the other way around.

There is no criminal charge for unpaid tax debt. Criminal charges might stem from tax fraud. In that case, the IRS investigates the fraud and if they find enough evidence, they recommend that the Department of Justice files charges.

If you really think you might be under investigation for tax fraud, do not call the IRS. Call an attorney.

The fake IRS demands immediate payment over the telephone.

Real IRS agents can’t accept payment information over the telephone. They’re not allowed. You can’t do it. If you try, they’ll tell you to pay online through the IRS’ website or mail a check. That’s right – only the fake IRS demands phone payments.

The real IRS doesn’t call you.

Once in a while, when you initiate a phone call to the real IRS and the call is disconnected, a real IRS agent will call you back. But only the nice ones. And that’s when you’ve initiated a real conversation with them. The fake IRS calls you first 100% of the time, and they always return your call.

The real IRS has a process for initiating contact with you. First, they send you a letter.

So, what if you've moved recently and the letter is undeliverable? Wouldn’t the IRS call you then? 


They’re still not calling you.

When the IRS can’t contact you via letter, your account is placed in an uncollectible status. When they are able to figure out where you live – for example, when you next file a tax return, or get a W-2 – they’ll try again.

Stay tuned for installment #2 of The IRS is Not Calling YouWhy do smart people fall for the fake IRS scam?