Beware The “Federal Student Tax”

John Stancil

Scammers are currently targeting students and parents, posing as the IRS and calling to collect payment of the non-existent “Federal Student Tax.” Callers are demanding immediate payment and if refused, threaten to report the student to the police. As this is merely an attempt to separate you from your money, your best response is to hang up. There is no such tax, and the IRS does not utilize such collection methods.

This is the latest in a series of scams in which individuals call, trying to collect unpaid taxes. Scam artists frequently masquerade as being from the IRS, a tax company and or a state revenue department. Frequently they attempt to intimidate and bully people into paying a tax bill. These threats include arrest, deportation or revocation the driver’s license of their victim if they don’t get the money.

In addition to demanding payment of the Federal Student Tax scammers will often:

  • Demand immediate tax payment for taxes owed on an iTunes gift card.
  • Solicit W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals
  • Verify tax return information over the phone
  • Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry

The IRS Will Never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.

Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report the call. You can use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page or call 800-366-4484. Additionally, report it to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting and clicking on “File a Consumer Complaint.” Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Don’t let these scammers scare you. Ignore them, and hopefully, they will go away.

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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