Today, a new client appeared in my office and explained he needed a consultation right away. This is very strange because most people call to set up an initial conference and we discuss the case on the telephone before meeting. This man was middle-aged, dressed nicely, said he was an IT analyst, but was sweating and extremely nervous. I asked him “what is wrong?” He told me “the IRS called and said they had audited my tax returns, I owe a lot of money, and unless I contact the Restitution Department they are coming to arrest me.”
I immediately told him this was a scam. He was still very concerned. So I asked him for the telephone number of the so called “IRS” and I called using my speaker phone. The person answered “IRS Department.” I immediately knew this was a scam because no one from the IRS answers stating the word “Department” because it is not. The person was quite difficult to understand and it was a poor connection. I asked him what section of the IRS he was with. The response was “the California Department” another thing that does not exist. I then said “you are not really with the IRS are you” and he hung up the phone.
This client believed me that it was a scam and I explained to him the real process of an audit. He left my office with a smile and much more relaxed!
In a real audit situation, the IRS will send you letters asking for information (please see prior post: “IRS Audits Can Be Successfully Fought”). You will never get a call saying the audit is already done and they are going to arrest you. Audits are generally civil matters and they are usually not criminal. Very, very few people ever go to jail for IRS criminal matters resulting from an audit. In fact if the IRS suspects criminal fraud during an audit, they stop the audit and the Criminal Investigation Division takes over.
I have had clients, potential clients and other concern people from around the country who call about the scam. If you get a call from anyone stating they are from the IRS or any State taxing agencies, immediately call your tax attorney!
Original Post By: Ronald Cappucio
Subscribe to TaxConnections Blog
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.