Consumer Alert: IRS collections calls
For years the Internal Revenue Service has told people that they will never call on the phone about collecting back taxes from taxpayers.
People were told that any phone calls from the IRS were phony and most likely a scam.
However the IRS has now announced that the agency will start using collection agencies to collect back taxes and those agencies may be calling people on the phone, which may lead to come confusing situations.
Melissa Companick of the Better Business Bureau says that taxpayers shouldn't feel pressured into paying money right away if they are concerned.
"Get the information in writing," she says. "You don't have to respond. You don't have to give your credit card information, your bank account over the phone. 'I owe a debt, prove it to me.'"
The IRS says it "will do everything it can to help taxpayers avoid confusion...in light of continual phone scams..." including giving "each taxpayer... written notice that their account is being transferred to a private collection agency."
Taxpayers should also know that the IRS will only ask for a check written to the US Treasury or instruct people to go to the IRS website. Any requests to pay by prepaid credit cards or wiring money are most likely scams.