The IRS is warning people about a new scam that involves their Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). The new scam involves a scammer calling a taxpayer and claiming they are from the IRS. The scammer then tells the taxpayer that two certified letters allegedly sent to the taxpayer in the mail have been returned as undeliverable. The scammer then threatens to arrest you if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer says the card is linked to the EFTPS system, when in fact it is controlled entirely by the scammer. The taxpayer is also warned not to contact their tax preparer, their attorney or their local IRS office until a payment is made.
The EFTPS is an automated system for paying federal taxes electronically. The service is free and does not require the purchase of a prepaid debit card. Along with the EFTPS System, you have several other options for paying their actual tax bill and you are not required to use just one way. You can check out the different ways you are able to pay on the IRS’ Payment Options page.
The IRS says this most recent scam has been reported across the country and taxpayers need to stay vigilant against the growing number of scams. The IRS is reminding taxpayers that the first contact they receive from IRS will not be through a random, threatening phone call.
Your first contact with the IRS will generally be through the mail. The IRS will first mail a bill to you, and will then mail you a notice if your account is being transferred to a private collections agency. If you receive a call before you ever receive a letter, contact the IRS immediately to see if you actually owe any money. You can check your tax account information Online or call 800-829-1040 to see how much you owe the IRS.
There are several ways to differentiate between a scam call and a call from the IRS or one of its authorized private collection agencies. The IRS and its agencies will never call and demand immediate payment using a specific payment method. The IRS does not accept prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers as methods for tax payments. Check the IRS Payments page to see what kind of payments they do accept. It’s important to remember the IRS will never ask for your credit or debit card over the phone.
The IRS will also never threaten to bring in the police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying. They will also never demand payment without giving you the chance to question or even appeal the amount they claim you owe. If you don’t believe you owe or think the amount is too high contact the IRS or call us here at Polston Tax to figure out what you owe.
If you feel you are being scammed, hang up the phone immediately and do not give out any information. You should also contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. You can use their IRS Impersonation Scam reporting web page or call 800-366-4484 to report the scam.
Frequent IRS scams make it hard to know when you owe the IRS, but Polston Tax is here to help. If you aren’t sure how you should pay back your taxes, give us a call at 844-841-9857 or fill out a form for a free consultation. Dealing with the IRS can be scary and overwhelming, but we are here to help.