How Do I Report a Phone Scam to the IRS?

Almost 2.5 million taxpayers have been targeted by IRS phone scams in the United States. Scammers have stolen over $70 million dollars by impersonating IRS agents. If you have been contacted someone on the phone pretending to be from the IRS, report the matter immediately to the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting website or the FTC Complaint Assistant tool for reporting phone scams.

Adam Goldkamp is the editor / author responsible for this content.
Dec 9, 2022

Unfortunately, taxpayers can sometimes fall victim to IRS scams, often claiming that they owe extra taxes, or that their returns were never received. These calls sometimes involve threatening the victim with jail time if they don't send payment. If you have been contacted by an IRS scammer, what is the next step? How do you report a phone scam to the IRS? You can get information and assistance here, and below are steps you can take to report scam IRS calls.

Spotting a Scam

The first step is spotting a scam call. Knowing how the IRS operates and what to look out for is the first step in stopping IRS scammers from victimizing you. Some things you need to know about how the IRS works to protect taxpayers from scams include:

  1. The IRS will never contact an individual by telephone for delinquent tax returns, overdue tax bills or other tax related issues. The IRS contacts individuals through official correspondence sent through the United States Postal Service (USPS) only.
  2. If someone calls you stating they are with the IRS, they are scammers. These scammers can be very aggressive and abusive when you refuse to provide information.
  3. The IRS will never request you pay your tax bill via a gift card, wire transfer or by paying a "fine" to avoid jail or prison.
  4. The IRS does not ask for bank information, credit card numbers or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. If you do have an overdue tax bill, the IRS can send the collection process to an outside collection agency; however, you will be notified via USPS from the IRS and the collection agency.
  6. Unannounced visits by IRS agents are rare but can occur. If you are audited or visited by an IRS agent, you will most likely receive a letter in the mail first.

Reporting a Scam

So you've received a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS and threatening you with jail time if you don't pay a certain amount by a certain date. Here are the steps to reporting a phone scam to the IRS:

  1. Navigate to the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting website through the United States Treasury to being the process of reporting a scammer to the IRS directly.
    • Open the IRS Impersonating Scam Reporting website
    • Choose the option in the listing available that best describes the nature of the scam
    • In the menu that opens, select the issue you wish to report
    • Follow the prompts to complete the report
  2. File a report with the FTC using its FTC Complaint Assistant tool to report a telephone scam. Include the words "IRS Scam" in the subject line.
    • Open the FTC fraud report website
    • Click on "Report Now" to start your report
    • Choose the type of report that best fits your situation
    • Follow the prompts to fill in the required information and submit

Reporting scam phone calls to the IRS or the FTC can help these agencies crack down on criminal activity and catch scammers. For more information or assistance, contact the IRS here.

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Adam has been tirelessly trying to help customers find the best tips and tricks to get through phone trees and writing many guides for prickly customer service problems. He's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inside Edition and Bloomberg.
How Do I Report a Phone Scam to the IRS?

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