GRANITE CITY — Buenger Accounting has been contacted by several Granite City area clients who have received threatening calls from the IRS demanding money or bank accounts could be frozen, cars repossessed and more.
The Internal Revenue Service never transacts tax business such as this over the phone. Almost always, letters will be received detailing taxes due and giving the taxpayer options to dispute the assessment. They have very strict steps in place before they can put a lien on any taxpayer’s accounts.
According to the IRS website, this is a scam that is being sent all over the country, from locations outside of the country, but using tricks to make it look like the call is coming from Washington, D.C. They claim that the scammers:
- Call to demand immediate payment.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, and ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement personnel to have you arrested for not paying.
If you or someone you know receives one of these calls, do not under any circumstances divulge any information or give payment to these scammers.
Instead, you should call the Treasury Inspector at (800) 366-4484 or reach them online at www.TIGTA.gov. You can also go to www.FTCcomplaintassistant.gov, select “Other” and then select “Imposter scams” to let the Federal Trade Commission aware of the scam, as they are tracking this and other scams.
If you have any questions about your personal tax account and think that you might actually owe money, contact the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040 or see your tax professional. There are many options in place including installment agreements and offers in compromise for those who owe taxes they cannot currently pay.
This article was submitted by Dan Connors, a certified public accountant and enrolled agent with Buenger Accounting in Granite City. He can be reached at (618) 797-0801 or Dan@Buengeraccounting.com.