Be on the lookout for tax scams – Ohio Ag Net
By Brian Ravencraft
It is always important to be on guard when it comes to possible scams. However, at this time of year you should be a little more vigilant, as scammers posing as the IRS are busier than ever. Crooks are getting more and more cunning in their own way, it seems. Here are some examples of scams to watch out for according to the IRS.
Signs of scam
If you get a call from someone claiming they can suspend or cancel your SSN or ask you for funds in any form, you are almost certainly dealing with a scammer. The scammer tries to scare people into resending voicemail messages and calls. Here are a few things to keep in mind that the IRS will never do according to its website:
- Call to require immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a gift card or wire transfer.
- Asking a taxpayer to make a payment to a person or organization other than the U.S. Treasury
- Threatening to immediately call in local police or other law enforcement groups to arrest the taxpayer for non-payment
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
The most common scams
- Phone scams – they’re still pretty common. If you get a voicemail message from someone saying that if you don’t call back and give the information they are asking them to take legal action, it is a scam. In some of the appeals, they claim that a warrant will be issued against your arrest. The IRS says on its website that it will not leave pre-recorded messages.
- Email Phishing Scams: The IRS will contact taxpayers by US mail. Therefore, if you receive an email that appears to be from the IRS, it is more than likely a phishing scam trying to get your sensitive information to be disclosed. If you think you’ve received a phishing email, you can always report it to the IRS using that email. [email protected]
The main thing to remember here is that if the IRS needs to communicate with you or bill you in any way, it will do so through US Mail. Overall, always trust your gut and be careful when someone asks for information. If you have any questions regarding the scams, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always here to help.
Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal at Holbrook & Manter, CPA. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, focusing primarily on the areas of tax advice and management consulting services across several service areas of the firm, focusing on agribusiness and private companies and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we provide the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that every client deserves. You can reach Brian via www.agribusinessaccounting.com Where www.HolbrookManter.com.