IRS Scam

The IRS recently issued a consumer warning to be on the lookout for fake IRS notices. These fake notices try to trick taxpayers into making payments, or sending sensitive personal information to scammers. Taxpayers should be vigilant against any suspicious emails that ask them to open up attachments, or request things like wire transfers, social security numbers, and bank account information.

irs scam

Over the years scammers have developed many strategies to try to take advantage of honest taxpayers. Scammers may contact the taxpayer through a variety of means including email, phone or text. Fake tax notices may be sent along with requests for sensitive personal information or payment.

The most recent IRS warning is about a form of spear phishing, which is a personalized email scam with a specific target in mind. The IRS has received multiple reports of fraudulent CP2000 notices being sent by email claiming that the taxpayer has an unpaid tax liability related to the Affordable Care Act. The taxpayer is then directed to make a payment online through a site that mimics the official IRS site, or to a mailing address that is not affiliated with the IRS. These emails may also have attachments that attempt to infect the taxpayers’ computer with malware.

It should be noted that the CP2000 notice can be a legitimate document issued by the IRS. However, initial contact is always made with a mailed notice. Prior to 2016 the IRS would initiate audits by phone, but that policy has been changed. The IRS will never initiate contact with a taxpayer by email, text message, or social media to request sensitive personal or financial information.


As we inch ever closer to tax season it’s important to keep in mind that the frequency of these scams is only increasing. During the 2016 tax year the IRS reported a 400 percent increase in phishing and malware incidents. If you are ever unsure about a notice contact your accountant. They will be able to go over the notice for you to filter out any fake notices, and help you respond to any legitimate notices from the IRS.

To report phishing or other online scams related to the IRS please visit:

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