The IRS has reported that telephone scammers are changing their scripts now that the filing season is more than halfway through. Scam artists are calling individuals and saying that the IRS has received their tax return but the Service needs more personal information, such as Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, to process the return. Scammers are threatening taxpayers with arrest, deportation, license revocation and other actions to trick taxpayers into making a payment. The IRS has noted a 400-percent increase in phishing schemes in 2016.
“These schemes continue to adapt and evolve in an attempt to catch people off guard just as they are preparing their tax returns,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received reports of around 896,000 phone scam contacts since October 2013 and has become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam.
The IRS reminded taxpayers that it will not call to demand immediate payment, nor will it call about taxes owed without first having mailed taxpayers a bill. The Service also will not threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have taxpayers arrested for not paying. A taxpayer who receives a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money should not give out any information and hang up immediately, the Service emphasized. For more information, contact us today.