How to know if it’s REALLY the IRS contacting you and not a scam

How to know if it’s REALLY the IRS contacting you and not a scam

There are so many “scams” out there it can be difficult to know if the IRS is really on the other end of the phone line or outside knocking at your door.


The IRS may call a taxpayer AFTER mailing a notice or to confirm an appointment.

If you DO receive a legitimate phone call from the IRS:


  • They will NEVER ask for a specific payment method like pre-paid debit cards or store gift cards.
  • They will NEVER threaten lawsuits, arrest, deportation or other action for nonpayment.
  • They will NEVER ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you get a visit from an IRS Revenue Officer:


They may ask for payment for taxes owed, delinquent tax returns, or businesses falling behind on payroll taxes.  Payment will never be requested to a source other than the US Treasury.


If you get a visit from an IRS Criminal Investigator:


They are investigating and as such, will NOT demand any sort of payment.


No matter HOW you are contacted always, ALWAYS ASK FOR CREDENTIALS.


Over the telephone they will provide their name and badge number.


In person, they will provide their Personal Identity Verification Credentials or, as in the case of the investigators, they will provide their badge and law enforcement credentials.




You should NEVER use a preloaded debit card or wire transfer to make a payment.  All payments made for taxes will be to “US Treasury”.  You can also use “Internal Revenue Service” as the payee.


If you have any questions or concerns about this issue please contact Thomas M DiTullio Accounting where “Numbers Matter – People Count”.

Skip to content