By: Edgardo M. Lopez, Esq.
Be wary of phone calls that purports to be IRS agents. There is a nationwide scam targeting taxpayers. We have clients who had been contacted by people impersonating as IRS agents. These clients were told that they owe taxes and must pay up. Since these clients owe taxes, they thought that the calls were really from the IRS. The IRS impersonators threatened our clients that if they did not pay fast by sending payments thru debit card or by providing routing and account information on their checks, either the clients will be arrested, their driver’s license suspended or deported. One client was forced to send payment after the IRS “agent” said that they will go to his wife’s work and garnish her salary.
The clients who were not sure how to deal with the situation, simply hanged up and called our office for instructions on what to do. Others were angered thinking that our office did not contact the IRS to address their tax problems.
Upon learning of these incidents, we immediately advised our clients to simply ignored these calls because these are not real IRS agents. The IRS do not threaten taxpayers and will not directly call taxpayers who are represented by attorneys. Drivers license are not suspended, wages are not garnished or taxpayers are not arrested simply they owe taxes. There is due process in the IRS system and taxpayers are protected by the so-called Taxpayers Bill of Rights.
If you get similar calls in the future, do not be scared. It is most likely that the caller is an IRS impersonator and just simply hang up. If the caller is persistent, demand the caller’s name, IRS ID number and the IRS office telephone number.