14.financepicdecRecently, I received a phone call from a person stating they were with the Internal Revenue Service. The individual stated that I owed back taxes and that the IRS was about to sue me for the payment of those taxes. Is this legitimate or just a scam?

First of all, the employees of the IRS do not make unsolicited phone calls to taxpayers unless the taxpayer has already been in contact with the IRS regarding any issues pending. A call from someone who states they are with the IRS and that the IRS is suing for the payment of back taxes is just a scam.

The IRS never sues anyone for the payment of back taxes owed. You may be levied or some other form of collection taken; however, you will always get correspondence that is certified mail prior to that happening. If you owe back taxes, the best thing to do is make the overture to call the IRS (before they call you) and get help or contact your professional tax preparer to give assistance.

There have been many taxpayers in recent weeks that have received such calls from people claiming to be with the IRS. They may even leave a voice mail on your phone with a return call number. DO NOT call them back. DO NOT talk to these individuals. It is a scam to get your private banking and social security information. There have been several new reports recently warning people to be aware of such a scam.

If the IRS has a problem with your tax matters, the company will always write an official letter from the U.S. Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. Should you be dealing with the IRS and it requires a phone conversation, the IRS representative will provide you with an identification number. Write that number down, along with the name of the person calling, for future reference. You will never get a call from the IRS unless you have previously been dealing with them through correspondence.

You may also wish to contact your professional tax preparer upon receiving any IRS call. He or she can always communicate for you and will know which calls are legitimate and which are not.

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