Tax debt relief scams have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, and they can be incredibly damaging to individuals and businesses who are struggling with tax debt. These scams often promise quick and easy solutions to tax debt problems, but in reality, they only make things worse.

What are tax debt relief scams?

Tax debt relief scams are fraudulent schemes that are designed to take advantage of people who owe money to the government. These scammers usually claim to be able to help individuals and businesses resolve their tax debt problems quickly and easily, but they often charge exorbitant fees for their services. In some cases, these scammers may even ask for upfront payment before providing any services at all.

How do tax relief scams work?

Tax relief scammers use a variety of tactics to deceive their victims, including:

  • Requiring large upfront payments before providing any services
  • Making unrealistic promises about resolving tax debt problems
  • Using high-pressure tactics to force victims into paying for unnecessary services
  • Requesting personal and financial information that can be used to commit identity theft

Scammers may also pretend to be affiliated with the government or other legitimate organizations in order to gain the trust of their victims.

How can you recognize tax relief scams?

Knowing how to recognize tax relief scams is the best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Unsolicited phone calls, emails, or letters offering tax relief services
  • High-pressure sales tactics and scare tactics that try to force you into paying for services
  • Guarantees that sound too good to be true
  • Requests for large upfront payments or payments in cash or wire transfers
  • Lack of clear information about the company or its services
  • Claims that the company can get you out of debt without providing any documentation or information about your specific situation

What should you do if you suspect you’ve been targeted by a tax relief scam?

If you suspect that you’ve been targeted by a tax relief scam, there are several steps you should take:

  • Do not provide any personal or financial information to the scammers
  • Hang up the phone, delete the email, or throw away the letter
  • If you did provide personal or financial information, contact your bank or credit card company immediately
  • Report the scam to the IRS, the Federal Trade Commission, and your state attorney general’s office
  • Consult with a licensed tax professional to get real help with your tax debt problems


Tax debt relief scams are a serious problem that can cause significant financial harm to their victims. By learning how to recognize these scams and taking action to protect yourself, you can avoid falling prey to these fraudsters and get the help you need to resolve your tax debt problems.


What is tax debt?

Tax debt is the amount of money that is owed to the government in unpaid taxes.

Can tax debt be forgiven?

Tax debt can sometimes be forgiven or reduced through tax relief programs, but these options are only available in certain situations and usually require the assistance of a licensed tax professional.

Can the government really help with tax debt?

The government offers programs and services to help individuals and businesses resolve tax debt problems, but these options can be complex and difficult to navigate without the help of a tax professional.

How can I avoid tax debt?

The best way to avoid tax debt is to file your taxes on time and accurately, pay any taxes owed in full and on time, and consult with a licensed tax professional if you are unsure about your tax obligations.