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Beware of Phone Calls Purporting To Be From The IRS



We have probably all heard of fraudulent phone calls from groups posing as the IRS. The caller typically demands money or says you have a refund due and asks for private information. If you don’t cooperate, they threaten you with asset seizure, jail time, or other actions. These scams are very pervasive, as I have personally received three of them in the past week. Do not give these callers any personal information.

In a release regarding these calls the IRS, states that they will never:

1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If, or should I say “when,” you get one of these calls if you think you may owe the IRS you can call them at 800-829-1040 to determine if your account is in good order with them. If you know that you don’t owe any taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov. Additionally, the IRS suggests that you file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission using using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

The IRS does not use unsolicited e-mail, text messages, or other social media to discuss your personal tax issues. Their first point of contact is usually a letter sent through the United States Postal Service. Be aware of any contact that is not sent by mail.

 

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Dr. John Stancil (My Bald CPA) is Professor Emeritus of Accounting and Tax at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. He is a CPA, CMA, and CFM and passed all exams on the first attempt. He holds a DBA from the University of Memphis and the MBA from the University of Georgia. He has maintained a CPA practice since 1979 with an emphasis in taxation. His areas of expertise include church and clergy tax issues and the foreign earned income credit. He prepares all types of returns, individual and business.

Dr. Stancil has written for the Polk County Business Journal and has presented a number of papers at academic conferences. He wrote the Instructor’s Manual for the 13th edition of Horngren’s Cost Accounting. He is published in the Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Green Issues and Debates, The Encyclopedia of Business in Today’s World, The Palmetto Business Review, The CPA Journal, and in the NATP TaxPro Journal. His paper, “Building Sustainability into the Tax Code” was recognized as the outstanding accounting paper at the annual meeting of the South East InfORMS. He wrote a book entitled “Tax Issues Faced by U. S. Missionary Personnel Abroad ” that will soon be published.

He has recently launched a new endeavor, Church Tax Solutions, which presents online, on demand seminars on various church and clergy tax issues.

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