We have also seen an increase in IRS based phishing and phone scams with tax season coming to a close. One in particular focuses on setting up an online account to track the status of your taxes after being submitted.  While the IRS does offer an online tracking service, they will never call you to help set it up. There are very few scenarios where the IRS will call you unprompted. You can visit THIS PAGE for guidance from the IRS on how you can tell the IRS from a threat actor. We recommend warning employees and reviewing the guidance above with them.

Additionally, the IRS publishes a list they update regularly called the “Dirty Dozen” which outlines common tax scams. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common ones:

  • Phishing scams: These come in the form of emails, texts, or even social media messages that try to trick you into giving up personal information like your Social Security number or bank account details. They often impersonate the IRS and may threaten you with legal action if you don’t respond.
  • Assistance setting up an IRS online account: The third-party helper scam begins with swindlers posing as a “helpful” third party who offers to help create a taxpayer’s IRS Online Account at IRS.gov. Third parties make these offers to steal a taxpayer’s personal information.
  • Phone scams: Scammers may call and claim you owe the IRS money or that you’re eligible for a large refund. They may pressure you to pay immediately using gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or wire transfers.
  • Fake refunds and unclaimed benefits: Scammers may advertise that you can get a big tax refund or unclaimed benefit. They’ll often ask for a fee upfront in order to process the claim.
  • Identity theft: Scammers can use your personal information to file a tax return and steal your refund.
  • Aggressive tax help offers: Be wary of unsolicited offers for tax help, especially if they promise to reduce your tax liability dramatically or get you a refund you don’t deserve.

The IRS itself will never threaten you with arrest or demand immediate payment over the phone. If you’re unsure about a communication you receive that claim to be from the IRS, it’s always best to contact the IRS directly through their official channels. You can find their contact information on their website at https://www.irs.gov/.