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Tips for avoiding IRS tax scams

The IRS has told people to be on alert for tax scams during the summer months. While the IRS does contact taxpayers in Georgia and around the country after the April federal tax filing deadline, they will do so by mail. Conversely, a scammer may leave a message on a person's phone demanding that the individual call or face being taken into custody. In some cases, scammers may ask that a person make a payment by wire transfer or debit card.

For the most part, those participating in the schemes are trying to get identifying information such as a Social Security number. They may also try to get information such as email addresses or online account passwords. Other ways that fraudsters may try to scam taxpayers include spoofing numbers that appear on a caller ID to make them look as if they are coming from a tax assistance center.

People may also be the victims of email phishing scams in which messages look like they are coming from the IRS. However, it is important to note that the government agency will not ask for identifying information in an email. It is also important to note that the IRS will always send notice of taxes owed by mail. Furthermore, the IRS will never demand payment over the phone or without an opportunity to dispute the amount owed.

An individual who fails to pay taxes owed could be subject to wage garnishment or a bank account levy. Those who have received a notice from the IRS may benefit from contacting an attorney. This may be an especially prudent idea for those who have received an email or phone call from suspicious sources. An attorney will likely be able to determine if an IRS notice is legitimate and how to handle it.

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