The IRS Primarily Uses Mail to Reach Out (Avoid Being a Victim of Fraud)

The IRS primarily uses the following methods to contact taxpayers:

  1. Mail: The IRS will send you a letter or notice via the U.S. Postal Service. This is the most common way the IRS initiates contact.
  2. Phone Calls: In some cases, after first contacting you by mail, the IRS may call you about a tax issue. However, these calls will usually be to schedule appointments or discuss audits and collections.
  3. In-person Visits: IRS agents or representatives may come to your home or place of business to discuss taxes owed or conduct an audit. These visits will be preceded by written communication.
  4. Official IRS Online Portals: The IRS may direct you to use secure online portals like the IRS.gov website for certain activities, such as paying taxes, checking refund status, or responding to notices.

Ways to Avoid Being a Victim of Fraud:

  1. Verify Mail Notices: Always verify any mail you receive from the IRS by visiting the IRS website or calling the IRS directly at their official numbers.
  2. Check for Red Flags in Phone Calls:
    • The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer.
    • The IRS will not threaten to bring in law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.
    • The IRS will not demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Verify In-person Visits: IRS representatives will always provide two forms of official credentials: a pocket commission and an HSPD-12 card. You can verify their credentials by calling the IRS.
  4. Use Official IRS Online Services: Only use the official IRS website (IRS.gov) for any online activities related to your taxes. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unsolicited emails or messages claiming to be from the IRS.
  5. Recognize Email Scams: The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. Be wary of phishing emails that appear to be from the IRS.
  6. Protect Personal Information: Be cautious with sharing personal information online or over the phone unless you are sure about the recipient’s identity.
  7. Stay Informed: Regularly review the IRS’s latest alerts and guidance on tax scams and fraud at IRS.gov.

By following these guidelines and remaining vigilant, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to tax-related fraud.

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