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Setting the record straight on the IRS

Opinion: Letters to the editor

January 2nd, 2018 3:40 PM

I am a CPA who lives in Forest Park. My practice has focused on taxation for over 30 years. I saw your article under the Crime column headed "Fraudulent IRS call." At the end you note, "The IRS only emails about tax issues or to request information; IRS officials never call." This statement is completely inaccurate. The IRS never emails. 

Their first step is to send a letter. They will send several letters to a taxpayer trying to resolve an issue. If they receive no response after several letters, they may call a taxpayer. But they never threaten the taxpayer with a lawsuit and they never ask the taxpayer for their Social Security Number when calling. The IRS does not accept credit card information over the phone. All credit card payments are processed through a third party processor. They do not request gift cards or wire transfers.

My concern is your comment could make residents vulnerable to email scams, which are as prevalent as phone calls. I have personally received dozens of calls and emails from scam artists. 

Here is a link to the IRS website page where they discuss these scams. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts. The imbedded link "How to know it's really the IRS calling or knocking on your door" has additional information. 

I hope you are able to correct this error so that more of our neighbors are not victimized by these scam artists.

Julie Herwitt, CPA 

Herwitt & Associates LLC