Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Is that the IRS on the phone? Maybe. Maybe not.

IRS, tax tip, phone, taxpayerSo, Tax Tip 2018-111 comes into my in box today via email and it has me steamed. Really? Is an IRS tax tip something to get steamed about?

Well, yes. And here is why.

For years, the IRS has been saying that they will never contact taxpayers by phone. And have asked us in the professional preparer community to help spread the word. And so we have.

But Tax Tip 2018-111 has this in it: Depending on the situation, IRS employees may first call or visit with a taxpayer.

Well, that is not good. How are taxpayers supposed to know if it is a real agent or not?

My suggestion – if anyone says they are from the IRS, just hang up. If you are unsure if it may be real, then immediately call your tax advisor and get set up with a power of attorney. Then let the tax advisor contact the IRS on your behalf – we know how to get through to the proper channels.

Oh, and by the way, if you do owe money to the IRS, a private debt collector may call you. Of course, since the list of the companies is also easy to find on www.irs.gov, someone can call you and pretend to be one of these debt collectors. (By the way, we have this same issue with the Arizona Department of Revenue). So, again, hang up and contact your tax advisor. You can also check out our blog on the telltale signs of a tax scam and how to avoid becoming a victim.

If you want to see Tax Tip 2018-111, click here. But try not to get steamed.

Donna H. Laubscher, CPA