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Beware of IRS Phone Scams
The Kansas City area has seen a recent spike in the number of phone scams from flea bags pretending to be from the IRS. The caller usually states that they are from the IRS criminal investigation or collection division, that you have a delinquent tax liability and that you will be subject to garnishment or a warrant for your arrest. They will then provide you with a phone number to call, which often is a 202 area code and the same as the Washington, D.C. area. For caller ID purposes, it may even read that the caller is the IRS.
First and foremost, the IRS is required to make initial contact via mail; after several attempts, or if the issue is very serious, they will send certified letters with receipt request. Typically you will have a levy or garnishment order before there is any phone contact from the IRS. Most of these callers have a foreign accent, are not fluent in English, and use improper IRS terminology and grammar. Their tactic is to scare their victims into offering up personal information and/or money through threat of legal action.
IRS information release IR-2014-81, which can be found at www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom provides additional information regarding scams. You can report potential scams through the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484. Any suspicious e-mails can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any doubt as to the validity of an IRS correspondence, contact your CPA and discuss with them; we have the experience to help you determine if the communication is a valid IRS correspondence. Most of all, NEVER respond to any question about your personal information, credit card numbers or bank account information.
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