Today I received a call from an unknown area code on my cell phone which I assumed was a telemarketer, but much to my surprise, the caller left a voicemail. Upon opening my voicemail, a stern voice indicated to me via a recording, that I was in the process of being sued by the IRS. Even this attorney, who stays abreast of IRS tax scams, was initially taken aback my the severity and tone of the "caller".
If you have had a similar experience to me, stay calm and read on....
(1) The IRS reports the most common scams and educates consumers accordingly online.
This tax year tax fraud has been rampant.
(2) Keep in mind, if you have somehow found yourself subject to an IRS audit or are accountable for back taxes, the IRS will have sent you multiple written letters well before any litigation has commenced. The IRS does not use automated voicemail to communicate its dissatisfaction with the taxpayer. It is also helpful to utilize the internet to determine if the caller's number is actually an IRS line. In my case, it turned up as "unknown".
(3) Remember, the idea behind extortion is this, get the individual afraid and then extort that fear in order to get money. This is not the way of the IRS. In the event you owe money, you will have received notices indicating in detail the issues with your tax returns and your options to pay any deficits. None of those options will include a lump sum payment by a certain date wired to a bank account or will be accompanied by the immediate threat of litigation.
(4) Call Caughey, Legner, and Freehill - 815-842-1112. As your tax preparers, we can educate you on the realties of whether you would be exposed to tax penalties or tax litigation based on the nature of your returns.
(5) Finally, the IRS provides a fraud hotline: 1-800-366-4484. When in question, call it.
As for this tax payer, I will lift my head up high, double check my credit reports to make sure nothing strange is happening with my social security number, and attempt to live a life free from fear of the IRS.
Steven T. Mann