Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts
Alert: New Email Phishing Scam
The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service and include a bogus case number and the following message:
“Your reported 2013 income is flagged for review due to a document processing error. Your case has been forwarded to the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance. To avoid delays processing your 2013 filing contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance.”
The recipient is directed to click on links that supposedly provide information about the "advocate" assigned to their case or that let them "review reported income." The links lead to web pages that solicit personal information.
Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the IRS's Report Phishing web page.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service is a legitimate IRS organization that helps taxpayers resolve federal tax issues that have not been resolved through the normal IRS channels. The IRS, including TAS, does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, texting or any social media.
Don't fall victim to tax scams. Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you know of a tax fraud, you can report it to the IRS by sending completed Form 3949-A, Information Referral, to Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888. You can download the form or call 1-800-829-3676 to order by mail.
Some of the other recent scams the IRS has seen include:
Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these “too good to be true” tax scams. For more information, see:
No matter how some things are sliced, they're still baloney. If someone tells you that you don't have to pay taxes, check out The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments. This IRS.gov exclusive addresses some of the more common false "legal" arguments made by those opposed to compliance with the federal tax laws. Each contention is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of the legal authority that rejects the contention. The second section deals with frivolous arguments encountered in collection due process cases. The final section illustrates penalties imposed on those pursuing frivolous cases.
IR-2011-23, IRS Debunks Frivolous Tax Arguments, highlights the issue and possible penalties.
IR-2004-41 describes the increasingly strong penalties the courts have imposed from March 2003 to March 2004 on taxpayers who pursued frivolous cases to delay IRS collection actions.
IR-2003-28 details penalties the Tax Court imposed from April 2001 until early March 2003 for making frivolous Collection Due Process arguments.
Identity Theft Scams
The IRS has issued several consumer warnings about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. Scamsters will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet (email), it is called phishing.
The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS-related component such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at email@example.com.
Additionally, clicking on attachments to or links within an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS may download a malicious computer virus onto your computer.
Learn more about identity theft.
Learn how to protect your personal information.
You may also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.