ASK THE CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT TAX AND PAYROLL TAX ATTORNEY – AVOIDING SCAMMERS PRETENDING TO BE FROM THE IRS
By Robert S. Schriebman
Telephone scammers pretending to be from the IRS are nothing new. The latest IRS Press Release now warns the public that the scammers are bold enough to make in-person contact. A local business in my community was recently visited by phony IRS agents demanding employee lists and internal records. After showing phony credentials, they walked out of the business with discs containing vital and damaging information. On July 22, 2022, the IRS released a new Fact Sheet warning of the latest scams and how to protect yourself even when you receive an in-person visit from a phony IRS agent (IRS Fact Sheet FS-2022-33, July 22, 2022).
This article will discuss how to protect yourself when receiving a text message, email, telephone calls, and in-person visit.
Text Message Protection
The IRS does not text message except on its IRS Secure Access Program. It does not use text messages to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills and refunds. If you receive what purports to be a text message from the IRS, take a screen shot of the text message and include the screen shot in an email to [email protected] with the following information:
- Date, time, time zone, you received the text message.
- Phone number that received the text message.
Do not click on links or attachments in unsolicited, suspicious, or unexpected text messages where from the IRS or other state tax agencies.
The IRS does not do emails and will not initiate an email contact to request personal or financial information. If you receive an email from the “IRS” report it by sending the Email as an attachment to [email protected].
In-Person Visit Protection
The IRS does initiate in-person visits, but this is usually after sending the taxpayer several letters and not receiving a response. In-person visits these days usually involve the non-filing of payroll tax returns and the non-payment of payroll taxes.
How can you tell if the person is truly from the IRS? You will be shown two forms of identification: IRS-issued credentials and a HSPD-12 card. This card is a government-wide standard form of identification for federal employees.
Always ask for both forms of identification.
Telephone No Nos
The IRS will contact taxpayers by phone. These contacts usually involve Revenue Officers whose job is it to collect taxes.
The IRS will never do the following:
- Request payment by debit card or gift card.
- Threaten to call the police or other local law enforcement.
- Ask for debit card or credit card numbers over the phone.
Always regard a telephone contact by the IRS as suspicious. When in doubt, contact a tax professional before giving any information. Always ask to see two forms of identification. If the person only has one form, close the door, and call the police.
Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States. He has successfully dedicated more than 50 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments. Mr. Schriebman is in private practice. He is not affiliated in any way with the EDD, and he is not employed by the EDD or any other agency of the State of California.
Robert Schriebman has written the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See “California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures” and “California Taxation Practice and Procedure,” both published by Commerce Clearing House.
Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, “IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners” published by Commerce Clearing House.
Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, “IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners” published by Commerce Clearing House in addition to the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See “California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures” and “California Taxation Practice and Procedure,” both published by Commerce Clearing House.
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