Tax retursn filed from Jan to April, but tax scams go all year

Taxes are a subject that most people in Philadelphia would likely prefer to avoid, but ignoring paying taxes can lead to big problems. The Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities are powerful collectors. Liens, levies, garnishment, high interest and penalties are only some of the consequences for failing to pay a tax liability.

When the IRS says you owe money, people are certainly inclined to pay. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to remind taxpayers that there are unscrupulous people who take advantage of this fear. Tax filing season may only last from January to April, but tax-scam season lasts all year.

The FTC receives the highest concentration of complaints about potential tax scams starting in July and increasing until December. Consumers report that they receive calls from alleged IRS officials telling them that they have unpaid tax debts. The caller then threatens everything from loss of a driver’s license to arrest if the taxpayer fails to send in money immediately.

The people that reported the calls to the FTC were lucky enough to catch and avoid the fraud, but not everyone does. When the caller has your personal details, like a Social Security number, and “IRS” even shows up on the caller ID, it is easy to believe the threats. Many people pay the money by putting it on a prepaid debit card or wire it to the false official. They do not get the money back.

The IRS will never ask you to put money on a prepaid card or wire it directly. In fact, the IRS never calls or emails you. If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be the IRS, you should write down the details of the call, hang up and report the information to the FTC. If you are worried about unpaid tax debts, call the IRS directly.

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