Scam artists making threatening calls to taxpayers have been all over the news. Now it seems the thieves are scamming unsuspecting taxpayers via email by sending fake IRS notices. The IRS recently alerted taxpayers and tax professionals to be on guard against fraudulent emails with an attached fake tax payment notice.
Taxpayers may get a written notice in the mail if information reported on her or his tax return does not match the information received by the IRS from a third party, like a bank or employer. The standard, computer-generated notice, called a CP2000, routinely asks for payment or an explanation from the taxpayer.
Scammers created a scheme sending fake CP2000 notices via email for the 2015 tax year. The fraudulent CP2000 notice includes a payment request to mail a check made out to “I.R.S.” to the “Austin Processing Center” at a Post Office Box address. This is in addition to a “payment” link within the email itself.
In its alert, the IRS emphasized four indicators of a fraudulent tax notice:
- These notices are being sent electronically, even though the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or through social media platforms.
- The CP 2000 notices are issued from an Austin, TX, address not used by the IRS.
- The underreported tax issue is related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requesting information regarding 2014 coverage.
- The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C.
Receive one of these scam emails? The IRS asks that you forward it to [email protected] and then delete it from your email. To determine if a CP2000 notice you received in the mail is real, see IRS information, Understanding Your CP2000 Notice, which includes an image of a real notice.
You’ve heard this advice before, but here it is again: Always beware of any unsolicited email purported to be from the IRS or any unknown source. Never open an attachment or click on a link within an email sent by unknown sources.