Tax season is also scam season and the Internal Revenue Service wants to be sure that you only pay them if you need to and that no one else who isn’t supposed to gets any of your money.
“Scams happen all year,” said Michael Devine with the IRS. “It’s just that they tend to increase during filing season, because people are more aware of their taxes. They tend to be a little more vulnerable.”
If you’re going to pay the IRS, the ways to pay them don’t have anything to do with gift cards or emails.
“If you owe your taxes when you get ready to file, the simplest way is to use Direct Pay on irs.gov,” said Devine. “If you want to do it the old fashioned way and actually write a check or use a money order, then that’s going to be made out to the Department of Treasury and sent to the Department of Treasury through the I-R-S.”
The best way to make sure you are communicating with the IRS and not with a scammer is for you to initiate the communication.
“If you get an unexpected phone call or email that says you owe money, you, the taxpayer, you, the individual, need to check that out,” said Devine. “You look up the number. Don’t believe what’s on your phone or the email and you call the IRS. Our number hasn’t changed in years. It’s 800-829-1040.”
They’re open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.