The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Fresh Start initiative has been a blessing for individuals and businesses struggling with taxes. However, given the widespread nature of tax-related concerns, this program has also become a magnet for scams. Here’s how you can take advantage of the IRS Fresh Start program while avoiding potential fraud.
Understanding the IRS Fresh Start Program
The IRS Fresh Start program is a federal initiative launched to help taxpayers who are struggling to pay their tax debts. This program delivers simpler payment options and gives taxpayers the opportunity to settle their tax debts in more manageable chunks.
Typical IRS Fresh Start Scams
The prevalence of IRS Fresh Start scams has increased significantly. These scams are often sophisticated, using a variety of techniques to trick unsuspecting victims.
Scammers send phishing emails that appear to be from the IRS, often with a fake IRS bill or notice regarding the Fresh Start program. The aim is to gather sensitive information or dupe the recipient into making a false payment.
Impersonation Phone Calls
Impersonating IRS officials over the phone is another common scam. Scammers may threaten arrest, license revocation, or even deportation unless a debt is immediately paid.
Fake Tax Services
Certain fraudsters offer fake tax services, promising to eliminate or significantly reduce your tax debts through the Fresh Start program.
How to Recognize and Avoid IRS Fresh Start Scams
Recognizing and avoiding these scams is critical in safeguarding your financial information and wallet.
Be Skeptical of Unexpected Emails
Always maintain a high level of skepticism with unexpected emails from the IRS, as they typically do not initiate contact with taxpayers via email.
Verify Requests for Information
Always verify requests for information. Do not provide sensitive information over the phone unless you are absolutely certain of the identity of the requester.
Check for Official IRS Correspondences
Official IRS correspondences are always sent by mail. Should you receive an unexpected phone call or email, always cross-verify with the IRS using the official contact details provided on their website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I apply for IRS Fresh Start program?
You can apply for the program by visiting the official IRS website and filling in the required forms.
What are the benefits of the IRS Fresh Start program?
Some benefits of the program include the ability to negotiate the amount you owe, flexible payment options, and suspension of levies and liens on your property.
How can I report suspected IRS scams?
If you suspect a scam, you can report it to the IRS via email or by contacting them directly using the phone numbers provided on their official website.
By being vigilant and well-informed about typical IRS Fresh Start scams, you can protect yourself and your hard-earned assets. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to combating scams.