The IRS will not do any of the following:
(1) ask you to pay a tax debt with a prepaid debit card or a gift card.
(2) demand payment of a tax debt without having told you first, in writing, how much they think you owe them.
(3) threaten to have the local police arrest you for not paying what they say you owe them.
If someone calls you on the telephone, says they are from the IRS, and says anything like any of the above, hang up, because they are trying to rob you.
There are variations on this scam. The caller might say they are calling on behalf of a taxing authority or government agency other than the IRS. I can say with confidence that if you receive a telephone call in which the caller claims to be from any government agency and makes any such request, demand, or threat, you should hang up on them. I have received such calls more than once, so I know they are out there.
If the caller claims to be calling on behalf of the IRS, the IRS recommends that you do the following (but hang up on the caller first):
Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report a phone scam. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
Report phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
The IRS is trying to spread the warning about these scams. The web site irs.gov has a page titled: “How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door.” Here’s the location of that page (url):
That’s where I got the above information.
One more time, repeat after me: if a caller (or someone sending you a text message or an email, for that matter) says they are contacting you on behalf of the IRS (or some other government agency), and says pay us right now over the phone (or via text or some other government agency), and says pay us right now over the phone (or via text or email) or you’ll be arrested, hang up immediately.
Nathan B. Hannah is a Shareholder in the Tucson office, and practices in the areas of estate planning and administration, real estate, and commercial transactions. He is also a noted blogger, and you can find more of his articles on his private blog,
Contact Attorney Hannah: firstname.lastname@example.org or 520/ 322-5000
This communication is designed to bring legal developments ofinterest to the attention of our clients and others. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific legal advice in a particular matter. For further information on any of the subjects discussed, or for legal advice in connection withany particular matter, please contact us.