Imagine my surprise with the phone call telling me that the IRS is suing me unless I pay past taxes immediately!! As a CPA, I could lose my license for such a violation! So what did I do instantly?


As I hope all of you know, there has been a rash of scam IRS callers all over the USA. They play on your fears of the IRS to get you to cough up money immediately to make the problem go away.

After all, can't you trust the IRS?

While that is a "loaded" rhetorical question, the bottom line is you need to know WHOM you are dealing with. That is sometimes difficult because scammers often sound very legitimate. My caller, after threatening a lawsuit, did say "thank you!". Big deal!

Here are some of the ways to determine if the call is legitimate:


It is that simple.

But people DO get phone calls from the IRS, correct?

Yes they do, but only after contact has been made by a formal IRS letter. (That is why you NEVER ignore an IRS letter-or your State/City letter). After contact is made by the IRS, that agent may call you for information or to arrange a meeting, but you will already know what the situation is beforehand. Any other situation is a con.

Next, the IRS will never call you for payment. All payments must be initiated by the taxpayer.

1. You may mail a check in.
2. You may call the IRS and give them the payment by credit card or checking account draft. The number is 1-800-829-1040.
3. You may go online at and choose to pay direct or pay by Credit or Debit card.
4. You may use EFTPS, the online tax payment website where you enter all the information for your checking account and tell them the date to withdraw it.
5. You can set up an installment agreement if you do not have the money now but can do monthly payments.

The IRS also will never ask for payments from iTunes or gift cards or prepaid cards.

The IRS will never ask for a credit card number over the phone unless you call the IRS directly. If you call, make sure it is a phone number from the IRS website, not the phone number on the voicemail.

The IRS will never ask personal questions on a phone call, such as SSN, AGI, bank account, etc. If the IRS is calling, they should already know this.

BUT, a word of warning: if you ignore repeated letters from the IRS, then your bank account may be in jeopardy, or you may find a lien on your property. Whenever you receive an IRS letter that you are unsure of, ALWAYS contact your tax preparer/CPA. If you understand what is said, then solve it by either paying them, sending the correct information in the mail, or proving them wrong with hard evidence.

You probably have enough stress in your life than to listen and worry about con-artists. You work too hard for your money to give it to them. So if you get one of these phone calls without a letter being sent prior to that call.....