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Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

New Email Phishing Scam: "Update your IRS e-file" 

The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov, though notably, not IRS.gov (IRS-dot-gov). Don’t get scammed. These emails are not coming from the IRS.

Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. For more information, visit the IRS's Report Phishing web page.

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. 

See also:

  • IR-2014-84, Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls
  • IR-2014-81, IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams
  • IR-2014-53, IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam
  • IR-2014-39, IRS Warns of New Email Phishing Scheme Falsely Claiming to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service
  • IR-2013-84, IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

Tax Scams

Don't fall victim to tax scams. Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Some of the other recent scams the IRS has seen include:

  • IR-2014-16, IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014; Identity Theft, Phone Scams Lead List
  • IR-2014-5, Watch Out for Tax Scams as Filing Season Opening Nears
  • IR-2013-33, Don’t Fall Prey to the 2013 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams
  • IR-2011-73, IRS Urges Taxpayers to Avoid Becoming Victims of Tax Scams

Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these “too good to be true” tax scams. For more information, see:


Phony Arguments

No matter how some things are sliced, they're still baloney. If someone tells you that you don't have to pay taxes, check out The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments. This IRS.gov exclusive addresses some of the more common false &quotlegal&quot arguments made by those opposed to compliance with the federal tax laws. Each contention is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of the legal authority that rejects the contention. The second section deals with frivolous arguments encountered in collection due process cases. The final section illustrates penalties imposed on those pursuing frivolous cases.

  • IR-2014-51, IRS Debunks Frivolous Tax Arguments,  includes numerous recently decided cases that demonstrate that the courts continue to regard such arguments as illegitimate.
  • IR-2011-23, IRS Debunks Frivolous Tax Arguments, highlights the issue and possible penalties.
  • IR-2004-41 describes the increasingly strong penalties the courts have imposed from March 2003 to March 2004 on taxpayers who pursued frivolous cases to delay IRS collection actions.
  • IR-2003-28 details penalties the Tax Court imposed from April 2001 until early March 2003 for making frivolous Collection Due Process arguments.

Identity Theft Scams

The IRS has issued several consumer warnings about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. Scamsters will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet (email), it is called phishing.

The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS-related component such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

Additionally, clicking on attachments to or links within an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS may download a malicious computer virus onto your computer.

Learn more about identity theft.

Learn how to protect your personal information.

You may also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.


Reporting Tax-Related Schemes, Scams, Identity Theft and Fraud

To report the various types of tax-related illegal activities, refer to our chart explaining the types of activity and the appropriate forms or other methods to use.   

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 29-Oct-2014