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IRS Fights Scammers – Instructs Staff to Initiate All Future Audits by Mail; Never by Telephone

Bruce D. Berndt

June 10, 2016

With a rise in IRS phone scams, the Agency changed its policy on contacting taxpayers whose tax records are subject to an audit. The new policy instructs IRS agents to contact affected taxpayers only by mail—never by phone (which used to be the IRS’ go-to method of contact). As such, we urge all of our clients to adhere to the following guidelines should you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and you’ve NOT received a contact letter prior:

  • If you receive a phone call that you suspect to be a scam, hang up right away. If you receive multiple calls, try to record them and turn the recordings and any other related information that you have over to the IRS and local law enforcement.

  • If you receive emails claiming that the sender is from the IRS, save the emails, do NOT click on any links or open files contained within the email, and forward these emails to the IRS at: phishing@irs.gov.

  • Never share your personal information over the phone or by email with someone claiming to be from the IRS. The IRS will never e-mail or call you to ask for this type of information or to ask you to send money right away.

  • Protect your personal information. Any type of documentation that contains your sensitive data is a treasure trove for tax thieves and identity scammers. Keep documents containing your Social Security Number, bank account numbers, and other sensitive information in a secure location. Electronic forms should be stored on a password-protected or encrypted external drive or disk.

If you have any questions about the risks related to tax and financial scams, please contact our office.

   

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