The tax filing season may be over, but tax scammers are still hard at work. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has to issue a warning every year regarding the rampant tax scams that happen during the summer.
Summertime tax scams are like dark clouds that cover the typically blue skies of the season. The summer is when most expenditure happens, according to a 2014 poll by eZonomics. Americans celebrate and spend on a lot of things during this season, including weddings, the Fourth of July, and vacations. As your summer spending in Utah increases, so does the number of people using schemes to lay claim to your money.
Because of this, the IRS urges people to watch out for summertime scams, saying, “Many of these are variations of a theme, involving fictitious tax bills and demands to pay by purchasing and transferring information involving a gift card or iTunes card. Taxpayers can avoid these and other tricky financial scams by taking a few minutes to review the tell-tale signs of these schemes.”
Here are the most common ones you should look out for:
1. EFTPS Scam
Short for Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, EFTPS is a free service offered by the U.S. Treasury Department. With the help of your tax accountant in Jordan who can accurately summarize your tax liabilities, the EFTPS allows you to conveniently pay federal taxes online or over the phone.
Scammers take advantage of this convenience, claiming to be from the IRS. They demand immediate tax payment after claiming that the ones you made through EFTPS have been rejected. These scammers also threaten to have its victims arrested if they fail to pay through a specific prepaid debit card that’s supposedly linked to EFTPS, but in truth is actually controlled by the scammer.
2. Robo-Call Message Scams
In this tax scam method, taxpayers receive a prerecorded message from someone claiming to be from the IRS. The messages usually demand an immediate call and threaten those who won’t do so that they’ll be served a warrant for their arrest. Those who call back, meanwhile, are told that, like in the EFTPS scam, they must make a payment to a prepaid card or via wire transfer.
The IRS makes it clear that they do not leave prerecorded messages, nor do they demand any tax debt to paid using prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. What’s more, they don’t threaten suspected fraudulent taxpayers over the phone.
3. Private Debt Collection Scams
In 2017, the IRS launched a program using private debt collectors to handle delinquent tax bills. The IRS sends letters to these taxpayers, informing them about their debt and that they have been assigned a private debt collector.
Scammers take this as an opportunity to pose as members of private debt collection firms. They do the same things as other scams: demand for payments through a prepaid debit card, threaten you with jail time, or threaten to tell your friends, family, and employer.
What You Should Know
If you encounter any of these things, be on high alert and report them. Remember not to give out personal information, such as your social security number and credit card information. And finally, make sure to pay your taxes on time every year so you can rest assured that you don’t have any outstanding debt.