I Just Received a Phone Call Saying I Owe Money to the IRS and Have to Pay Immediately? What do I do?
This scenario, unfortunately, occurs very often and is something for which to watch out because it may be a scam. The IRS never contacts taxpayers by phone requiring immediate payment with threats of collective action or other scary possibilities. If you have received this type of phone call, then there is a large chance that it is not actually the IRS contacting you, even if your caller ID says it is a government agency or even the IRS. Savvy scammers have started to find ways to appear as though they are legit, even though they are really trying to get your identity to conduct identity theft to make some quick money through fraudulent means.
How to Know it is the IRS Contacting You
The IRS always initially contacts taxpayers through a letter in the mail. You will first receive notice of your tax bill with at least 30 days to pay the outstanding balance. If you have not paid by the due date, then the IRS will send you a notice of intent to place a lien. You again have 30 days to pay your tax bill, fight the bill, or set up a tax resolution solution. The same occurs with any other type of collective action, including wage garnishments, levies, and asset seizure. Even if you are charged with criminal charges, which is very rare and typically only due to not filling your taxes rather than owing money, the IRS still contacts you through the mail and provides you with time to react.
Does the IRS Ever Make Phone Calls?
The IRS does sometimes contact taxpayers by phone, although it will be after the initial letter has been sent. In instances where an IRS agent contacts you directly over the phone, the agent will never ask for payment information or force you to pay immediately. An IRS agent will never demand you pay, threaten to bring in the police, or require you to pay in a specific way. If this does occur, then hang up the phone, as it is a scam. If you do owe money, then contact the IRS directly.
Protect Yourself from Scams
It is important that you remain wary of any possible scams to protect yourself and your finances. It is best to remember that the IRS always contacts you by mail first and foremost. Some scammers do send out letters that appear to be from the IRS, but will typically include more forceful and threatening language. The IRS always provides plenty of opportunities to appeal, find ways to pay your bill, or negotiate a tax settlement. If you are unsure whether or not a letter is legitimate, then it is to your benefit to call the IRS on a number you find from a legitimate source, not the letter you received, such as the IRS’ official website (www.irs.gov) or your local phone book.
If you do have a tax debt and face collective action from the IRS, then contact Fidelity Tax Relief today at 877-372-2520 to discuss your options. You may be eligible for an Offer in Compromise, or you may find an Installment Agreement beneficial. We can also help to contact the IRS on your behalf to discuss your situation, ensuring that you do not have to worry about dealing with any scammers.