IRS urges taxpayers to prepare for a surge in scam phone calls

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The IRS urges taxpayers to ignore these types of calls and report them

With tax season right around the corner, taxpayers should be on the lookout for scam phone calls. 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning taxpayers about an uptick in scam calls in which scammers pretend to be from the agency, and try to get personal information – or even money – from those on the other end of the phone. 

The IRS’ biggest piece of advice: hang up.  

What to know about IRS communications

For starters, the IRS wants taxpayers to know that phone calls aren’t their go-to source of communication. If issues arise with tax returns or tax refunds, or if the IRS needs to alert you to any kind of news about your account, the phone isn’t likely to be how they do it. Instead, taxpayers can expect to receive correspondence from the IRS by mail. 

Other things taxpayers should be aware of: the IRS will never insist that taxpayers make payments without also giving them the chance to appeal such charges and there will never be a threat of law enforcement for a lack of payment. 

These are all tactics that scammers use to try to coerce taxpayers into providing personal details – like bank accounts, credit card numbers, or social security numbers. It’s important that consumers are aware of these efforts so they’re well-equipped to avoid them. 

Report scam calls as soon as possible

Should taxpayers be hit with one of these scam calls, the best course of action is to hang up the phone, write down the phone number, and then take the necessary steps to report it. 

Taxpayers have several options when it comes to reporting scam calls. These calls can be reported via email at with the subject line “IRS Phone Scam.” 

Scams can also be reported online by submitting a Scam Reporting form at the Hotline for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The Hotline also has a phone number for taxpayers to report these calls: 800-366-4484. 

As the number of spam calls and texts continues to rise, it’s important for taxpayers to be able to identify what’s coming from a legitimate source and what’s not – especially as it gets closer to tax season.  

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