The IRS warns of many tax scams targeting individuals. The IRS does not call, e-mail or use social media to collect taxes. The IRS does use regular mail, and scam artists and identity thieves know this.

In one of the newer scams, you may receive a letter in the mail on official-looking IRS letterhead claiming that you owe a balance. However, it is fairly easy to learn if this is a scam or an official letter. When the IRS requests payment, they will have you make the check payable to the U.S. Treasury and mail it to an official IRS address. Anything else, such as payment to the IRS or I.R.S. or payment to be made online or with debit cards, is an obvious scam.

You can easily verify whether a notice is fake or official by looking up the address or calling the IRS directly and asking if they sent a notice to you. You can also ask your tax professional.

Because tax scams try to take your money, it is important that you protect yourself and verify the authenticity of the notice before giving out any information or making any payments.


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    Climbing the Money Tree


    R. Joseph Ritter, Jr. CFP® is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) and founder of Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc., a non-profit organization providing financial planning services to low-income households and households experiencing financial strain.

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