NSA Warns Taxpayers About Tax Scams
Alexandria, VA – The National Society of Accountants (NSA) warns that many taxpayers have been victims of an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam where callers claim to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but are not.
On its website, the IRS explains, “These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
One common scam is that a caller will tell a taxpayer they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
NSA cautions that the IRS will never 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
“Taxpayers need to be on guard for these types of scams, because they can sound official and be very intimidating,” says NSA Executive Vice President John Ams. “The rule is to never give personal information to an unsolicited caller, no matter what they say. Hang up the phone and contact the IRS if you have questions about the status of your tax payments or other issues.”
Ams added that accountants and tax preparers who belong to NSA are continually briefed on these types of scams and taxpayers are encouraged to contact them for further guidance on dealing with scams like this.
To find a qualified tax preparer in your area, visit www.nsacct.org. Click on “Find a Professional” or call 800-966-6679.
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NSA and its affiliates represent more than 30,000 members who provide accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial and estate planning, and management services to approximately 19 million individuals and business clients. Most members are sole practitioners or partners in small- to medium-size accounting firms. NSA protects the public by requiring its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.