Have you received an official-seeming communication from the government? It can be scary to the average person and you are not sure what to do or if the email is valid.
Be reassured that these are not real messages from the IRS.
“The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts,” according to the IRS. See below what the IRS explains to do in this case.
Phishing is a scam typically carried out through unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.
Report all unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to email@example.com.
What to do?
If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information, taxes associated with a large investment, inheritance or lottery.
- Don’t reply.
- Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
- Don’t click on any links. Visit our identity protectionpage if you clicked on links in a suspicious email or website and entered confidential information.
- Forward– preferably with the full email headers – the email as-is to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forward scanned images because this removes valuable information.
- Delete the original email.
What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related telephone call?
IRS impersonation telephone calls – as well as other types of unwanted calls (e.g., telemarketing robocalls, fake grants, tech support, sweepstakes winnings, etc.) remain popular scams. Blocking these types of calls is one strategy taxpayers should consider. Easy to install call blocking software for smartphones is available. While the IRS does not endorse any solution or brand, a limited sample of the available options are:
Consumer’s Union – https://consumersunion.org/end-robocalls/solutions/
How do I verify contact from the IRS?
Go to IRS.gov and search on the letter, notice, or form number. Please be aware fraudsters often modify legitimate IRS letters and forms. You can also find information at Understanding Your Notice or Letter or by searching Forms and Instructions. For additional information please see “How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door”.
If it is legitimate, you’ll find instructions on how to respond. If the completion of a form is required and it’s provided by a questionable contact, you should verify the form is identical to the same form on IRS.gov by searching Forms and Instructions.
If you don’t find information on our website or the instructions are different from what you were told to do in the letter, notice or form, please use the appropriate online resources.
If you are in doubt of what to do, contact your CPA for advice?
If you are interested in receiving this complimentary 2018 Income Tax Organizer for your use, just email email@example.com and put in the subject line “Send a 2018 Income Tax Organizer” and our office will send you a pdf to start getting prepared for your taxes.
Joshua Wilson, CPA, PC is a full-service public accounting firm that specializes in accounting, tax preparation, tax planning, & business development for small businesses in Winder, GA and the surrounding areas. Give Joshua a call today to set up a consultation at 770-856-1309 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org