IR-2016-81, May 27, 2016 PHOENIX – The IRS recently issued a warning to taxpayers about phone calls from IRS impersonators demanding payment for non-existent tax. Scam artists frequently disguise themselves as being from the IRS, a tax company or sometimes state revenue departments. Many con artists use threats to intimidate and bully people into paying a fraudulent tax bill. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver’s license of the victim if they don’t get the money.

Some other tactics that scammers may use:

• Demanding immediate tax payment for taxes owed on an iTunes gift card
• Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals – IR-2016-34
• “Verifying” tax return information over the phone – IR-2016-40
• Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry – IR-2016-28

The IRS urges taxpayers to stay vigilant against these calls and to know the signs of a scam demanding payment. The IRS will never:

Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill
• Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying
• Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone

If you get one of these phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS here’s what you should do:

• Do not give out any information and hang up immediately
• Contact TIGTA to report the call at IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting or call 800-366-4484
• Report it to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting FTC.gov and clicking on “File a Consumer Complaint”. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes
If you think you may owe taxes and get a phone call, it is suggested that you call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040