Increased Security Measures with the IRS
Due to the increasing IRS and identity theft scams, the IRS has issued guidance (IR 2017-32) for taxpayers who call the IRS. The IRS suggests that any taxpayer who calls an IRS call center should have the following information available:
- Social Security Numbers and birth dates for those listed on the tax return
- For those who do not have a social security number, an individual tax payer identification number will be required
- The ability to identify the filing method: single, head of household, married filed jointly or married filing separately
- A copy of the prior filed return – the IRS may ask to verify certain information on the return.
If a taxpayer is calling about a Letter 4883C that they received, they must have their current year return (if already filed), a copy of the filed year return, the letter they received and the supporting documentation they used to prepare the return.
If you need to call about your parent’s returns, your spouse’s return or someone else’s return, you must have authorization from that person to discuss their account. The IRS will require a completed copy of Form 2848-Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization mailed or faxed to them in advance.
Taxpayers calling about a deceased taxpayer should have the deceased’s death certificate to fax to the IRS and copies of either Form 56 or paperwork establishing appointment as the estate representative.
Tips to avoid being scammed by people posing as IRS agents:
- The IRS does not regularly call taxpayers.
- The IRS will not call a taxpayer regarding outstanding taxes, without first having sent a bill or letter via mail.
- The IRS will never demand immediate payment or require you pay in a certain manner (such as credit card or prepaid debit card).
- The IRS will never threaten to bring in police or arrest you for not paying.
If you do receive phone calls from a person purporting to be from the IRS, but have never received any written letter, bill or other correspondence from the IRS – hang up the call. You can always call the IRS to verify if they had called at 1-800-829-1040.
If you know you do not owe any taxes, report any calls you receive to: TIGTA at 800-366-4484 or https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml and the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov .
December 6, 2017
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