Tax Liens

The Internal Revenue Service is allowed under federal law to place a tax lien on your personal property, real estate, bank accounts and personal possessions to settle back taxes. The tax lien allows the IRS to ...

Tax Liens Tax Liens
Free Tax Case Review

How can I tell if a call from the “IRS” is legitimate or a scam?

The IRS released an alert last week about the continuing rash of telephone calls from scam artists pretending to be the IRS. The alert provided guidance on how to recognize when contact from the IRS is legitimate or is from a scam artist seeking to steal money from you.

The calls from scam artists are taking one of two forms typically. The first form is an outright demand for money. The caller will claim that you have unpaid taxes or other fees you must pay to the IRS. The caller may threaten you will additional fines or legal action in the event you do not contact them quickly and meet their demands.

The second form promises a refund. In order to obtain the refund, you must provide personal information such as your Social Security Number in order to validate your identity and your bank account information so the IRS knows where to deposit the refund. However, the scam artists will in fact use this information to take money out of your bank account and possibly commit identify theft.

In either case, the scam artists will have a well-rehearsed story. They will know enough information about you to make their demands or requests sound convincing. If they have to leave you a message, they will state that returning their call is a time sensitive matter. In addition, the caller ID information for the number from which the scam artists are calling will indicate the call is coming from the IRS.

The IRS alert made a point of emphasizing that you can easily tell the difference between a call from a scam artist and legitimate contact from the IRS if you know what to look for. The IRS outlined the signs of a scam artist in a five-point summary.

Make Contact via Telephone Call First

When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the IRS always initiates the contact using an official written notice. If the first contact you receive from the IRS is via a telephone call, the call is from a scam artist.

Issue Demand for Payment without Offering Opportunity for an Appeal

When the IRS determines that a taxpayer owes money to the IRS, whether that money relates to unpaid tax liability, fines, or interest, the taxpayer will always have the opportunity to appeal the case and present evidence to support the appeal. Scam artists who demand payment will do so without offering the opportunity for you to appeal the rest. If you mention an appeal, the scam artist will likely increase the threats against you.

Specify the Type of Payment Method You Must Use

When an individual legitimately owes money to the IRS, the IRS will accept payment via a debit or credit card. In addition, the IRS may allow you to establish an installment agreement to pay the money owed over time.

In the case of a scam artist, the person will want the money immediately, often requiring that you provide payment via a prepaid debit card.

Require that You Provide Payment Information over the Phone

The IRS has established partners through which it accepts payment via credit and debit card. Although you must provide your credit or debit card information to the payment partners in order to remit payment to the IRS, these processes do not require that you provide your card information verbally.

Threaten to Arrest You

If you indicate that you are unwilling or unable to pay the money the scam artist indicates you owe, the scam artist may threaten to have the police sent to your home to have you arrested.

Although the IRS may involve law enforcement officers, the involvement of law enforcement by the IRS is in only extreme cases where an individual has shown a blatant disregard for working with the IRS over time.


If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent the IRS who is asking for money, you should not contact them using any number they may leave. Rather, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. A representative from the IRS can tell you if there is a legitimate issue with your taxes.

You can report contact from scam artists claiming to be from the IRS by visiting the FTC Complaint Assistant at

Whom should I speak with if I need help addressing a legitimate issue with the IRS?

If you owe money to the IRS or have other questions about preparing your tax return, you can get help by contacting a tax attorney. A tax attorney can answer questions about completing your tax return or resolving a dispute with the IRS about money you may owe.

You can contact a tax attorney by calling the number at the top of this web site or by completing the form below. Your initial conversation with a tax attorney is free, so you have every reason to get help today.

Connect with Mark on Google+

Need Help with your Unpaid Taxes?

Complete the Free Tax Case Evaluation form below and an experienced Tax Professional will contact you to discuss your situation. Don't Wait -- Get Help Today!

IRS Gave Over $13 Billion in Tax Credits to Unqualified Individuals

A report released by a government investigator on Tuesday noted that the IRS paid tax credits totaling more than $13 billion to individuals who did not qualify for the payments.


GOP-Led House Votes to Hold IRS Lerner in Contempt of Congress

The GOP-led House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to hold the former IRS Director of the Exempt Organizations division in contempt of Congress.  The vote came as a result of Lerner’s refusal to testify on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party and other conservative organizations.


IRS Grants Tax Relief to Alabama Disaster Victims from Severe Storms

The IRS has granted tax relief measures to certain victims of severe storms that took place in Alabama beginning on April 28, 2014.  The tax relief may extend to those impacted by tornadoes, floods, or straight-line winds related to those severe storms.


House Plans Vote for Special Counsel to Investigate IRS

Leaders in the House of Representatives have scheduled a vote in the coming week to ask the United States Justice Department to establish a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting of conservative organizations.


IRS Considers Tax on Work Perks Normally Considered Fringe Benefits

In certain fields, employers have found that attracting and retaining talented employees is a highly competitive business that necessitates providing certain perks to employees in their work environment.  As the type and size of perks changes, the IRS is reevaluating if it should treat more of those perks as fringe benefits that are taxable to the employee.


IRS to Rethink Law Limiting Activities of Tax-Exempt Organizations

The IRS is rethinking proposed legislation that would have limited the types of political activities that tax-exempt organizations could perform.  The decision by the IRS comes after complaints by Republican lawmakers and conservative tax-exempt organization that were targeted by the IRS in 2013.


IRS Preparing to Keep over $750 Million in Unclaimed Tax Refunds

Today is tax day, the day when millions of individuals are finally getting their federal income tax returns filed so that they can claim their tax refunds.  Although many late tax filers delay completing their returns until the last minute because they want to put off paying money they owe to the IRS, there are many others due to receive a refund who wait simply because they are too busy to get their tax return filed.


IRS Reminds Taxpayers of Common Errors Made by Last-Minute Tax Filers

Days before tax day, the IRS has published a reminder to taxpayers of the errors commonly made when individuals rush to prepare their tax returns at the last minute.  The IRS reminder notes that taxpayers can avoid such errors if the taxpayers take time to review their return and be aware of some of the following key points.


IRS Announces Tax Relief for Washington Mudslide and Flood Victims

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on Friday that it would provide tax relief benefits to victims of the flood and mudslide that took place in the state of Washington in March.


Older Posts »

 LeadRival LP BBB Business Review

Attorney Advertising

Online Marketing for Lawyers