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Students Beware! Phony IRS Agent Demanding Fake Payment

If you’re a student or know any, you likely understand their budget planning challenges. Ensure they don’t fall victim to a new twist scammers use to cheat taxpayers, according to the IRS.

If someone calls claiming to be an IRS agent and demands your “Federal Student Tax” payment, it’s FAKE! Expect the caller to threaten police action if you don’t immediately wire funds to pay this non-existent debt, but don’t be fooled. No such tax exists.

Clues the phone call you receive is a hoax include:

  • Demand for immediate payment;
  • Threats of arrest for non-payment;
  • Demand for payment without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount;
  • Requiring a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card; and
  • Request for credit/debit card numbers over the phone.

Other tactics employed by scammers this year include:

  • Demanding payment for tax owed on an iTunes gift card;
  • Posing as a company official and requesting payroll information (see our blog on this topic);
  • Calling to “verify” tax information over the phone; and
  • In addition to posing as IRS agents, scammers sometimes profess to represent a state revenue department or a tax preparation firm.

The IRS sends bills by mail before initiating phone contact.

If you receive correspondence from the real IRS, don’t ignore it! Your problem won’t go away without taking action and you leave yourself vulnerable to scammers impersonating IRS agents. Protect yourself by remaining informed about your tax status.

If you receive a bogus call, hang up! Don’t allow the caller to intimidate you into providing any information.

Report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) either online or by phone (800-366-4484).

Also, file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, indicating an “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes. Following these steps will help government agencies eradicate the problem.

If you possibly owe taxes and receive a potential bogus call, contact the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 and speak to an agent. Your registered tax preparer will assist you, but expect a fee as calls to the IRS usually require an extended period of time.

Need more help clarifying the difference between the IRS and scam artists? Contact the tax accountant team at Patrick & Robinson CPAs to ensure you don’t lose the money you deserve: or (904) 396-5400.

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