Ask a Lawyer: Phone call from the IRS

Dear Ask a Lawyer:

I received a very disturbing phone call last night. It was from someone who claimed to be from the IRS.

They were very nasty and said I owed them money and that I could be arrested if I did not pay. I was so

taken aback I just hung up. After I hung up I was unsure what to do next. I am very concerned.

Signed: Afraid

Dear Afraid:

Thank you for sharing your story. It is frightening to get one of those calls. The phone call is a scam, a

trick hoping to get you to pay money to the caller. You did the right thing by hanging up.

The IRS will not:

 Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first

sending you a bill in the mail.

 Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.

 Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit


 Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

 Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.

What to do IF you receive a Scam call

 Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.

 Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting–” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.

 Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant —” on Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in

the notes.

If you need any help filing you taxes the information below will help you.

For more information: or call


Thank You

Ask A Lawyer

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