Taxpayers should know the signs of a phone scam, especially during filing season

Issue Number:    Tax Tip 2020-32

Taxpayers should be aware that aggressive criminals pose as IRS agents in hopes of stealing money or personal information. The tax filing season is a prime time for phone scams because people are thinking about taxes.

Here are some tell-tale signs of a tax scam along with actions taxpayers can take if they receive a scam call.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Call out of the blue about an unexpected tax refund.

Taxpayers who receive these phone calls should:

More information:
Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts
Report Phishing and Online Scams

IRS YouTube Videos:
Tax Scams – English | Spanish | ASL
Dirty Dozen – English | Spanish | ASL