The Internal Revenue Service has postponed another furlough day.
Originally, the IRS office was scheduled to close on Aug. 30, but IRS offices will be opened that day for service. This is the second furlough day that has been cancelled.
Identity theft and IRS scams are increasing.
Just this week, my office received another call from a taxpayer who received a notice supposedly from the IRS. The letter looked official and when the person called the number on the letter the person answering the phone gave an identification number. The letter stated that this taxpayer owed money to the IRS and needed to make contact with the number listed on the letter. The taxpayer knew that she did not owe anything to the IRS and was suspicious of the letter.
There are times that specific numbers are given on a letter. However, if you question the contents of a letter claiming to be from the IRS, here are some numbers to verify its authenticity.
General tax information for individuals - 1-800-829-1040
General tax information for businesses - 1-800-829-4933
Taxpayer Advocate - 1-877-777-4778
Each of the above numbers can direct you to an agent who can transfer you to the right department. The scam letters look official and even have the logo of the IRS.
My advice last week was to call the number on the letter, however, if the information in the letter does not seem right, call the general tax information number to get someone from the IRS to review your account.
Most taxpayers are anxious when they receive a letter from the IRS and want to take care of the issue immediately. It is important to ensure that the letter is actually from the IRS and not a scam.
Take the time to call the IRS.
The IRS reported in March 2013 that flyers and advertisements for free money from the IRS have been appearing in community churches around the country.
These schemes promise refunds to people with little or no income.
Scammers prey on low income individuals, the elderly and members of church congregations.
In addition to "free money" from the IRS, there have been a number of tax scams involving Social Security.
As these attempts to entice or scare taxpayers increase, it is extremely important to do a due diligence when getting any correspondence from the IRS or Social Security. If you are unsure of a letter's authenticity, contact a tax professional to review the letter and offer assistance.
For more information on tax scams, go to http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Releases-the-Dirty-Dozen-Tax-Scams-f....
Tracy Bunner is an enrolled agent and tax preparer with an office in Harrisville. She can be reached at 801-686-1995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.