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Is that really the IRS calling?

 

Tax law and tax compliance can be complex and difficult. If you run a business and have ever had to endure a tax audit, you know how stressful and, well, taxing, it can be. You can make it easier if you have a complete records retention system that is well-organized and highly detailed. This ensures when the IRS asks a question, you have a documented answer to provide them.

But what happens if you receive notice of a tax irregularity and you make arrangements to resolve the matter only to later discover it was a tax scam. While many people have probably heard of these tax scams being perpetrated on unsuspecting victims, they probably have thought to themselves that they never would fall for such clearly fraudulent attempts.

 

Nonetheless, you, the members of your family and the employees of your business should be alert to these scams, as they are showing no sign becoming less frequent. This week, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a news release indicating taxpayers should be on "high alert" for these scams, typically in the form of a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS.

These scams have caused losses of more than $23 million to taxpayers since 2013, and the TIGTA has had 736,000 contacts involving these frauds.

While the TIGTA noted they have had success at apprehending and prosecuting some of these criminals, there are many more out there. For those that are successful, it is likely that combined with issues like cybercrime and identity theft, that these criminal will become more sophisticated and more skilled at portraying the IRS.

If you ever have questions about your taxes, contact the IRS directly. If you could owe back taxes, penalties, interest or have problems with an audit, contact a tax attorney for real help with the tax system and to prevent one problem from becoming many.

Source: treasury.gov, "J. Russell George Urges Taxpayers to Continue To Be on 'High Alert'," Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, October 15, 2015

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