The IRS has issued a notice with information for consumers and taxpayers that runs counter to advice that has been given out the last several years: the IRS will start calling you if you have a delinquent account.
Starting as early as spring 2017, the IRS is will have private collection agencies calling consumers who have past due accounts. While the calls will be from a third party collection agency, the IRS says there are safeguards in place to differentiate a legitimate call from a scam.
- Two letters will be mailed out ahead of time, warning that a collection company will soon call. The phone number will be listed so that consumers know what to look for.
- You will only be required to make a payment directly to the IRS, not the collection agency or any other third party. And payment will not need to be wired or made with a pre-paid debit card.
According to the IRS, if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee, you should do the following:
- Record the employee's name, badge number, call back number and caller ID, if available.
- Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.
- If the person calling you is an IRS employee, call them back. If not, report the incident to TIGTA and to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: 'IRS Phone Scam')