It's peak time for tax scams. Here's how to avoid them

Now that you’ve filed your return and breathed a sigh of relief, you can forget about taxes until next year, right? With any luck the answer is yes, but following tax season it’s not unusual for the IRS to reach out about your return or refund.

Unfortunately that means it’s peak time for scammers, who pose as IRS officials to steal money or information. To help you avoid them, we asked the IRS for their top red flags.

Note that 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. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.

  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

To find out more about tax scams and the various means imposters use, check out this IRS guide. And for more information on phishing scams, see their advice on suspicious emails and identity theft.

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