How Do You Know it’s the IRS?

How Do You Know it’s the IRS?

The bad guys get better every year at being imposters. Years ago, they were a Nigerian prince. More recently they were about your car warranty. Lately, and especially around this time of year (March and April) it’s the IRS calling.

So, how’s one to know if it’s really the Internal Revenue Service? First, the IRS doesn’t make phone calls without notifying you by mail they are auditing you and need to make an appointment. Additionally, you may owe money and they will send you a letter. More than one letter to be sure. No letter? Think scam.

Is the suspicious phone call about demanding payment? It’s not the IRS. The IRS sends bills through the mail. Then you can mail in a payment to the service center shown in the letter or go to their website  Look for the https:/ symbol at the beginning of the address in the browser address bar. On my chrome browser there is the lock symbol just to the left of the address bar showing the connection is secure. If you click on the lock symbol it will tell you the connection is secure.

According to the IRS, scam callers may claim they are calling in the local police and will have you arrested for not paying. In addition, claims that they will revoke your driver’s license, business license, or immigration status are just not true.

In person visits by the IRS are rare, especially without an appointment. In certain cases when taxpayers have not responded to repeated mail attempts to contact them for payment, IRS employees or their bill collection contractors may make an unannounced visit at a home or business to collect nonpayment of taxes owed. They will only insist on payment directly to the U.S. Treasury. No gift cards or prepaid credit cards are ever demanded or accepted.

IRS employees and contractors will have two forms of identification. They’ll have copies of the letters that you ignored.

If you want to know more about the latest IRS related scams go to Besides the IRS website, you can all 800-366-4484. If you get a suspicious email, forward it to they will appreciate the tip-off.


Jim Ludwick
Jim Ludwick

Jim Ludwick is the founder of MainStreet Financial Planning. His varied education and life experiences have enabled him to apply his knowledge and experience into useful solutions for personal financial problems. His writing and broadcasting activities allow him to help many more than just individual clients. He loves a microphone.

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