Coronavirus-related Tax Scams – Did You know?
The IRS warns everyone to watch out for scam phone calls, emails and text messages related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) tax relief programs during the spring of 2020. This new wave of phishing attempts and other criminal activity centers on the Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) that the IRS is currently distributing to many U.S. taxpayers. The scammers might incorrectly refer to these payments as “Stimulus Checks” or “Stimulus Payments.”
As a reminder, most taxpayers do not need to take any action in order to receive their EIPs. The IRS will NOT call, email or text you to request private information such as your address or bank account number. If anyone claiming to represent the IRS requests such information from you, asks you to sign over your EIP check, or suggests that they can get your EIP to you faster, you should immediately hang up or delete the message. You can also help the IRS to identify, track down, and prosecute perpetrators by forwarding any suspicious emails you receive to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unsure whether a call or message you receive is legitimate, treat it as a scam and then contact the IRS for more information. You will not be punished for hanging up on an IRS agent because you believed that the call was fraudulent. Note that although most IRS taxpayer assistance phone services are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, call centers will reopen as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can still email the IRS and/or find regular updates on coronavirus tax relief programs at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-imp….
If you wish to provide the IRS with information such as an updated mailing address to ensure that you receive your EIP as quickly as possible, you should ONLY do so through the official IRS Economic Impact Payments portal, https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.
Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. Does not constitute legal, financial, or other advice. Consult with a professional before taking any action.