UPDATED March 30, 2021: The Internal Revenue Service today warned of an ongoing IRS-impersonation scam that appears to primarily target educational institutions, including students and staff who have ".edu" email addresses. Read more.
Fraudsters impersonate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and use postal mail, phone calls, texts, emails, and social media to scam money and personal information from individuals, businesses, and tax professionals.
The IRS wants you to know that they do not:
- Initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text, or social media to request personal or financial information.
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers, or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS also cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status.
You can report phone and email tax scams to the Federal Trade Commission and IRS:
- Phone scam: use the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov and add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
- Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS: email the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some possible signs that you are a victim of tax-related identity theft include:
- Unable to e-file your tax return due to a duplicate Social Security number.
- Receive an IRS letter about a tax return that you did not file.
- Receive an IRS notice that your existing online account has been accessed or disabled, but you have not taken any such action.
If you believe someone has filed a fraudulent return in your name, you can get a copy of the return. Visit the IRS webpage, Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, to learn more.
Consider an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number. The IP PIN is known only to you and the IRS and helps us verify your identity when you file your electronic or paper tax return. Vist the IRS to learn more.