Wausau and Other Wisconsin Taxpayers Beware of Tax Jail Scam

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June 19, 2014

I received a telephone call from a prospective client yesterday. Let s call her Suzie. Suzie called me asking for guidance on how to handle a phone call she received from the IRS. The caller stated on Suzie s voicemail that Suzie had 2 hours to return the call and resolve her tax issues or the police would be at her door to throw her in jail. As you would assume, Suzie was a bit upset by such a threat and immediately contacted a tax professional to figure out what she should do.

I ve been working with the IRS for a number of years and I have never heard of the IRS making such a threat (coordinating local police to arrest someone for overdue taxes is likely a bit too ambitious for a government agency), but when it comes to the IRS and taxes, you can never be too careful. I asked Suzie if she had any reason to believe she had a tax issue and of course, Suzie said no. I, however, instructed Suzie to call the IRS (and, yes, sit on hold for the better part of an hour) and simply confirm with the IRS that all is well with her taxes.

Suzie called the IRS at the number I provided to her (1-800-829-1040), not the number left on her voicemail. Suzie confirmed all is well with her taxes and the IRS stated that other taxpayers have received similar threatening phone calls.

Moral of the story — Wisconsin taxpayers, please be wary of anyone contacting you claiming to be the IRS or alleging that you have taxes due. I urge you to contact the IRS directly or work with a tax attorney to confirm and resolve any tax issues.

Follow Amy on Twitter @AmyTaxEsq

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