How to Spot a Fake IRS Letter

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With the IRS inactive sending retired a slew of letters relating to 2020 taxation returns, you mightiness beryllium wondering if the missive you’ve received is morganatic and not a scam. The abbreviated reply is to verify straight with the IRS if you get a missive that asks you for idiosyncratic accusation oregon a outgo for backmost taxes, but there’s besides different signs that the missive you’ve received isn’t connected the level. Here’s however you tin spot a fake IRS letter.

What a existent IRS volition look like

An IRS envelope volition see the IRS logo and the missive volition person your partial taxation ID number, and either a announcement fig (CP) oregon missive fig (LTR) connected either the apical oregon bottommost right-hand country of the page. Your missive volition besides see your rights arsenic a taxpayer (something a scammer is improbable to include). In presumption of content, the missive volition beryllium sent to you for a fewer circumstantial reasons:

  • You person a equilibrium due.
  • You are owed a larger oregon smaller refund.
  • The IRS has a question astir your taxation return.
  • The IRS needs to verify your identity.
  • The IRS needs further accusation from you.
  • The IRS has changed your taxation return.
  • The IRS is notifying you of delays successful processing your return.

A existent IRS missive volition ne'er request contiguous outgo oregon different unit you into giving retired your idiosyncratic information. If you are asked to wage backmost taxes, you volition ever beryllium fixed steps to entreaty your outgo first. And you’ll ne'er beryllium asked to marque payments straight to the “IRS”—instead, payments volition ever beryllium made to the Treasury department, which you tin bash by visiting (and if the missive mentions acquisition cards? Forget it, that’s a scam).

When successful doubt, verify with the IRS directly 

Since IRS logos and letters tin beryllium easy faked, if you person immoderate doubts that the missive is real, the Better Business Bureau recommends going to to hunt for the applicable announcement oregon signifier fig and work the IRS’s leafage Understanding Your IRS Notice oregon Letter. You tin besides telephone the IRS astatine 800-829-1040 to corroborate that the missive is existent (use the announcement oregon missive fig arsenic notation erstwhile talking to an IRS agent).

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If you deliberation you’ve received a fake IRS letter, study it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and with the IRS straight astatine [email protected].