Taxpayers should be aware of Coronavirus-related scams.
By Michael Aston, E.A.
Alhambra Tax Center
This month Tax Tips is directly
from the IRS Tax Tips 2020-42.
Taxpayers should be on the lookout for IRS impersonation calls, texts and email phishing attempts about the coronavirus or COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments. These scams can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.
Here’s what taxpayers should know:
- The IRS will not call, email or text you to verify or request your financial, banking or personal information.
- Watch out for websites and social media attempts to request money or personal information. The official website is IRS.gov.
- Don't open surprise emails that look like they’re coming from the IRS or click on attachments or links.
- Taxpayers should not provide personal or financial information or engage with potential scammers online or over the phone.
- Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, then delete.
- Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.
Here’s what people should know about the Economic Impact Payments:
- The IRS will automatically deposit Economic Impact Payments into the bank account taxpayers provided on their 2019 or 2018 tax return for a direct deposit of their tax refund.
- Those without a direct deposit account on file may be able to provide their banking information online through a new secure tool, Get My Payment.
- Anyone who is eligible for an Economic Impact Payment and doesn’t provide direct deposit information will receive a payment mailed to the last address the IRS has on file.
- The IRS does not charge a fee to issue the payment.
- Ask an individual to sign over their Economic Impact Payment check to them.
- Ask for verification of personal or banking information.
- Suggest that they can get someone tax refund or Economic Impact Payment faster by working on their behalf.
- Issue a bogus check, often in an odd amount, then tell a person to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.
Official IRS information about the COVID-19 pandemic and Economic Impact Payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov. The IRS encourages people to share this information with family and friends. Many people who normally don’t normally file a tax return may not realize they’re eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.