Fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo or related organizations, are attempts to gain access to your financial information in order to steal your identity and assets using regular mail, telephone, fax or e-mail.

  • Tax relief companies that claim to reduce or even eliminate your tax debts

  • Threat for not providing information  

  • Schemes to avoid paying U.S. taxes by illegally hiding income offshore

  • E-mails from the Internal Revenue Service

  • Provide personal information to anyone calling on behalf of the IRS

  • Eligible to receive a rebate for filing your taxes early

  • Anyone calling about tax rebates

  • E-mail from IRS, stating your eligible for an economic stimulus payment.

  • Tax payments have been rejected and directs recipients to a link

  • IRS never sends emails

  • Taxpayer communications through e-mail - Do not open any attachments

  • Encouraged to shift appreciated assets into Roth IRAs at less than fair market value

  • U.S. Tax Court letter contains a petition involving a court case between the IRS and you

  • Suggest making unreasonable claims to avoid paying the taxes you owe

  • Letter starts off with Dear Valued Tax Payer

  • Tax return skimming a portion of clients refunds and attract new clients by promising large refunds

  • Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions

  • Gets the Internal Revenue Service or other federal agency names wrong



Precautions You Should Take And Avoid Taking Certain Action   TOP


  • Be wary of promises to avoid paying taxes. There is no secret formula that can eliminate a persons tax obligations.

  • E-mail from U.S. Department of the Treasury notifying them that they will receive millions of dollars in recovered funds or lottery winnings or cash consignment if they provide certain personal information, including phone numbers.

  • Receive an IRS form, the W-8BEN, requesting detailed personal and financial information (genuine Form W-8BEN is filed with their financial institutions, not with the IRS).

  • E-mail, indicates you will receive a tax refund if you click on a link and complete a form for a tax refund.

  • Threatens consequences for not responding to the e-mail, such as additional taxes or blocking access to the recipients funds.

  • Uses incorrect grammar or odd phrasing (many of the e-mail scams originate overseas and are written by non-native English speakers).

  • Uses a really long address in any link contained in the e-mail message or one that does not start with the actual IRS Web site address (www.irs.gov).

  • IRS employee calls about your receiving economic stimulus payments/rebate/tax refund but needs your Social Security and bank account numbers or click on a link, fill out a form for direct deposit of the payment.

  • Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund; there is no separate application form.

  • E-mail notifies the recipient that his or her tax return will be audited, ignore it, IRS doesn't send emails.

  • E-mail addressed to businesses, accountants and Treasury managers. The instructs them to click on a series of links to publications; this will probably download malware to your computer.

  • IRS employee calls because they sent you a check and it has not been cashed, asks for your bank account number so they can take care of it.

  • You are eligible to receive a tax refund, is a fake notification.

  • Receive money for participating in an online customer satisfaction survey.

  • Uses the Treasury Department's Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) as a hook to lure individuals into disclosing their personal information.

  • Tax refund e-mails can look legitimate, some have IRS logo images and signature images and a footer at the bottom of the mail along the lines of 'Copyright 2008, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A.  and other information such as notification from IRS.

  • Don't get curious if you come across one of the type e-mails listed above. DO NOT click. Just clicking on a link is enough for you to become a victim of ID theft.

  • Audit e-mails employs a scare tactic, rather than the promise of money. Taxpayers receive an e-mail warning that their federal tax return will be audited.



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