Are you suffocating under heavy tax debt? If yes, then you must be tempted by the advertisements that claim to settle your tax debt. People with back taxes or audit/collection problems are often vulnerable to the apparently good offers from the fraud tax relief firms. These days, tax debt relief scams are all over the internet and also to an extent on television and radio broadcasts.
The scammers are now banking on their phishing skills to deceive people. Fraud tax debt settlement companies endeavor to cheat people through emails. These emails are sent to the taxpayers by shady people who pose as legitimate businesses, in this case IRS. This kind of emails will ask for your personal information or to click on some link that takes you to a fraud tax debt settlement website. If you respond, the result will be nothing better than identity theft and consequent monetary loss. The IRS never starts a conversation regarding your tax debt through email. So such emails should be treated with suspicion and strictly marked as spam.
They usually use the following lines in the subject category of their emails:
•Internal Revenue Service Notice from Department of the Treasury
•Internal Revenue Service Access your tax refund online
•Internal Revenue Service Get Your Annual Tax Refund Now
•Your Bailout Check Your US Govt. Stimulus Check Instruction
•Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Advocate Service (Tax Refund)
Also, several scam sites pose as the official IRS site. While some of these sites look cheap and are easy to recognize, others may deceive even experienced people. The scammers often steal content from the original IRS site. Their site, naturally, looks perfectly legitimate and confuses people who eventually fall for the trap.
If you receive such unwanted emails then you should report it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This would help the IRS would track these fraud people. The URLs and the links would be useful to identify the scamming sites and shut them down. Hiring a reputed debt relief firm would help you to avoid the scams and settle your tax debt successfully.
A scam tax debt relief company would also be conspicuous of the following features:
They would not ask you whether you really owe the tax or not. They are always too eager to push you towards offer-in-compromise because they would earn maximum profit from it. So sending your tax documents to the IRS and resolving the issue is certainly not what they are after.
Usually the company estimates the money that would be needed initially and you need to deposit the sum accordingly. This is logical since a company can be apprehensive about the abilities of someone in tax debt. If you see that the money to be deposited depends on the balance in your bank account, then you have reasons to be skeptical.
The “pennies on the dollar” companies are usually scams. They would assure you with false guarantees and ask for lump sum upfront fees. Eventually they exhibit unusual interest in getting their payment and little or no interest to render you their services. You should also understand that a company or firm can comment on your chances of a tax debt settlement only after an in-depth probing of your situation. FTC has shut down American Tax Relief, one such shady company for similar reason
Scam companies usually have phony offices. Their addresses are mostly nothing more than mailing addresses or large rooms shared with many other companies. So choose a company with well established office. Also, try to find out how long they have been in business and their Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation.