Here’s how the IRS contacts taxpayers
Everyone should know how the IRS contacts taxpayers. This will help people avoid becoming a victim of scammers who pretend to be from the IRS with a goal of stealing personal information. Here are some facts about how the IRS communicates with taxpayers:
The IRS doesn't normally initiate contact with taxpayers by email.
The agency does not send text messages or contact people through social media.
When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the first contact is normally by letter delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Fraudsters will send fake documents through the mail, and in some cases will claim they already notified a taxpayer by U.S. mail.
Depending on the situation, IRS employees may first call or visit with a taxpayer. In some instances, the IRS sends a letter or written notice to a taxpayer in advance, but not always.
IRS revenue agents or tax compliance officers may call a taxpayer or tax professional after mailing a notice to confirm an appointment or to discuss items for a scheduled audit.
Private debt collectors can call taxpayers for the collection of certain outstanding inactive tax liabilities, but only after the taxpayer and their representative have received written notice.
IRS revenue officers and agents routinely make unannounced visits to a taxpayer’s home or place of business to discuss taxes owed, delinquent tax returns or a business falling behind on payroll tax deposits. IRS revenue officers will request payment of taxes owed by the taxpayer. However, taxpayers should remember that payment will never be requested to a source other than the U.S. Treasury.
When visited by someone from the IRS, the taxpayers should always ask for credentials. IRS representatives can always provide two forms of official credentials: a pocket commission and a Personal Identity Verification Credential.