IRS warns of rise in payment scams as Tax Day nears

Scam Alerts

Due to the coronavirus the department of treasury is issuing to US citizens economic impact payments known as a stimulus check or tax refund concept.

(WRIC) — Taxes are due in a matter of days and the Internal Revenue Service, otherwise known as the IRS, is reminding taxpayers to remain vigilant of scams.

In a release Thursday, IRS’s Criminal Investigation division urged citizens that tax scams are on the rise — and the pandemic may be the blame.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME: July 15 is Tax Day. What to know about the deadline

COVID-19 caused the April 15 tax deadline extension to July 15. Taxpayers in need of more time and filing Form 1040 series returns must file Form 4868 by July 15 to obtain the automatic extension to Oct. 15. This action, however, is leading to some scammers collecting vital information from taxpayers, the IRS explains.

“Criminals use the tax filing deadline as an opportunity to steal personal and financial information,” said Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the IRS Criminal Investigation division for the Washington D.C. Field Office. “Taxpayers should remain vigilant and know that the IRS will not initiate contact with them via phone, email, or social media to request personal or financial information.”

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Officials noted that a variety of Economic Impact Payment (EIP) scams continue to be a target for fraudulent monetary gains. The EIP scams, which target coronavirus relief stimulus checks, have led to the confiscation of personal information and personal funds.

Taxpayers can report COVID-19 scams to the National Center for Disaster Fraud. Taxpayers can also report fraud or theft of their Economic Impact Payments to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). 

Click here for more information about tax filings and IRS impersonation scams.

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