ALERT: Parents and students should be on the lookout for potential tax scams

September 13, 2016

With students headed back to school in a few short weeks, parents and students alike should be advised of telephone scammers who target taxpayers during the back-to-school season. Such scammers demand payment for taxes like the "Federal Student Tax" -- a bogus tax.

Scammers are always trying to update ways in which they can carry out their scams, including: altering the caller ID on incoming calls, imitating legitimate software providers, verifying a taxpayer's tax return over phone, and requesting tax payments using things like iTunes gift cards. Parents and students should think twice before accepting such requests.

Please be advised that if you or someone you know gets a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS that the following should be taken into consideration:

  • The IRS will never call demanding immediate payment. The IRS will usually mail you a bill first and is obligated to give you the opportunity to find out more information about the amount you owe.

  • The IRS will not threaten you with immediate enforcement action like warning you that law-enforcement will have you arrested if you do not pay up.

  • The IRS will never ask for credit or debit card information over a phone line.

For more information on what to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related communication, please read up on report phishing and online scams. There is also more information on identity theft and return preparer fraud. This information will help you stay informed and in control of what you owe.