The IRS Truth about Calls and Door Knocking

The short answer is, YES! The IRS will call or come to someone’s home or business. This only happens when the taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, a delinquent tax return or delinquent employment tax payments, or to tour a business as part of an audit. But before the IRS calls you or knocks on your door, they will first send several letters or notices in the mail. If an IRS Rep shows up on your door, he or she will always provide two forms of official credentials called a pocket commission and a HSPD-12 Card. This card is a government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification for Federal employees and contractors. You have the right to see these credentials.

So don’t be scammed, many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials demanding money for tax payments. Some may try to con you by saying that you are due a refund. Some con artists go to great lengths to impersonate the IRS by using fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers. They may alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They may even threaten you with Jail if you do not provide payment information over the phone. Do not ever do that. If you get a call like this say you will make a payment at the IRS website or you will call them the next day to discuss your case. To help out the IRS has provided a list of things that they will not do.

  1. Call you to demand immediate payment. They will not call you about taxes owed without first mailing you a bill.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

If you are contacted and any of the above occur it’s important to report it. You can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report a phone scam. You can call 800-366-4484 or us their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting.