BEWARE OF TAX SCAMS
BEWARE OF TAX SCAMS
It’s tax reporting season for individuals and business entities, including nonprofits. As in years past, this year’s tax season has resulted in an increased number of scams targeting taxpayers. Importantly, neither the IRS nor any state authority will seek confidential information, such as a social security number or credit card or bank account information, over the phone or by email, and they will not threaten to arrest you if you don’t make an immediate payment over the phone. Below is a sampling of known scams targeting taxpayers as reported by taxing authorities, but this list is not exhaustive. If you believe you have been targeted by a tax scam, we recommend reporting it to the appropriate authority immediately.
FROM THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
Phishing: Taxpayers need to be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or refund. Don’t click on one claiming to be from the IRS. Be wary of emails and websites that may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information.
Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as con artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things.
Identity Theft: Taxpayers need to watch out for identity theft especially around tax time. The IRS continues to aggressively pursue the criminals that file fraudulent returns using someone else’s Social Security number. Though the agency is making progress on this front, taxpayers still need to be extremely cautious and do everything they can to avoid being victimized.
If you suspect you have been a victim or target of a tax scam, tax fraud, or identity theft, you may make a report directly to the IRS.
FROM THE TEXAS COMPTROLLER
Phone Scam: We recently became aware of a telephone scam involving an individual falsely claiming to represent the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The caller claims the taxpayer has a tax liability and requests a credit card number. The Comptroller’s office will never ask for credit card information over the telephone. If you receive one of these calls, note the telephone number and contact our office immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.