The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers to protect their personal and financial information throughout the year and watch out for IRS impersonation scams, along with other scams, which try to trick people out of their money.
Tax scams can involve text message, e-mail, and phone scams.
In 2021, there was an increase in the number of text messages that impersonated the IRS. These scams are sent to taxpayers' smartphones and often referenced COVID-19 and/or "stimulus payments." These messages often contain bogus links claiming to be IRS websites or other online tools. Other than the IRS Secure Access site, the IRS does not use text messages to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds.
Taxpayers are reminded to watch out for claims of unemployment or other benefit payments for which they never applied. States have experienced a surge in fraudulent unemployment claims filed by organized crime rings using stolen identities. Criminals are using these stolen identities to fraudulently collect benefits. Because unemployment benefits are taxable income, states issue Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, to recipients and to the IRS to report the amount of taxable compensation received and any withholding. Any worker receiving a fraudulent or inaccurate 1099-G should report it to the issuing state agency and request a corrected Form 1099-G. "IRS warning: Scammers work year-round; stay vigilant" www.irs.gov (Feb. 11, 2022).