IRS Correspondence: Real or Fake?

Since correspondence season is in full swing which means the IRS is sending out bills and notices to taxpayers. It may be hard for taxpayers to tell the real from the fake so here are a few pointers to know:

•       A proper IRS letter will usually arrive in a government envelope and will include the IRS seal on the notice or letter.

•       A legitimate letter will include a notice or letter number, most commonly found at the top right-hand corner. If there’s no notice or letter number, it’s likely a fake.

•       A real IRS letter will typically include your truncated tax ID number and will note the tax year or years in question at the top right-hand corner of the letter.

•       A bona fide letter will include IRS contact information – usually a 1.800 number found at the top of the letter near your identifying information. If there’s no contact information or if it appears to be a personal or cell number, the letter is likely a fake. If there is contact information but you’re not sure that it’s legitimate, you can always call the IRS directly at 1.800.829.1040.

•       The real IRS will not threaten to arrest or deport you.

•       Finally, a legitimate collection letter will note your payment options, including how to pay any balance due. If the letter asks you to write a check to any party other than the U.S. Treasury, furnish credit or debit card information over the phone, or to pay using iTunes or other gift cards it’s a fake.

SST would like to give a special thanks to Kate Horay at the Gold Gerstein Group for sharing this content with us so that we can share it with you!