We are unfortunately in the age of ever evolving scams perpetrated by criminals that prey on the uninformed; therefore, it is crucial to understand how agencies like the IRS will contact you, the taxpayer. The IRS initiates the majority of their contact via U.S. Postal Service mail, however, as part of routine case work it is possible an IRS representative visits you. The reason for the visit will be for one of the following reasons: collections, audits, and/or criminal investigations.
The representative should begin the interaction be identifying him or herself with two forms of official credentials called a pocket commission and a HSPD-12 Card. These forms of identification are unique to Federal employees and contractors and you as the taxpayer have the right to see them. Do not discuss any confidential tax matters prior to confirming the representative’s identity.
During these interactions the IRS representative will not do the following:
- Demand payment using a specific payment method such as a debit or gift card, especially over the phone
- Demand payment without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount
- Threaten to bring in local police in an attempt to arrest or seize taxpayer licenses or immigration status for not paying
If you experience any of the above be sure to cease all discussions and immediately call your tax representative or local police department for assistance.