- Margaret Schopp
Bad Guys Call; Real Guys Write
Our clients, and the world in general, has been the subject of endless scams from nefarious callers claiming to be the Internal Revenue Service.
They hope by scaring the bejesus out of you, you will run to the bank, withdraw gobs of cash just so they will not:
- haul you to jail,
- deport you,
- take away your house and all your other worldly possessions.
The problem is, these guys are good. Hey one even called my parents and my Dad was so worked up, he was tempted to pay them. BUT DON'T. Here is the deal.
1. First contact with the internal revenue service will NOT be via the phone. They will write you a letter.
2. If you do not respond to letter number one, they will send letter number two. If after a few letters, you still choose to ignore them, they will start sending things certified - that when things get ugly.
3. As a taxpayer, you have rights, so even if you did have a tax assessment against you there are many steps that the IRS takes in order to collect those amounts.
Like I said, these guys can be tricky. So what to do when you get one of these calls.
1. Ask them for their name and agent number.
2. Ask them what department and office they are calling from.
3. Then HANG UP.
If you are not sure if it was a scam or not:
1. Go on to the IRS website - WWW.IRS.GOV (note the .gov)
2. Get the phone number for taxpayer assistance - 1-800-829-1040 (clever how they worked Form 1040 into their phone number)
3. Call them and see if there are any outstanding issues
What we have been doing over here for our clients is to file a Form 2848 - Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. What that form does is tells the IRS to send us a copy of everything they send you. That way, if there is an issue, we will know about it and work with you on getting it resolved. That is something you should ask you tax guy to submit as part of next year's tax return.
Hopefully, this will alleviate some stress and a bigger hope - no crazy phone calls from IRS imposters.