(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) is warning taxpayers to be on alert when getting phone calls claiming they have unpaid tax bills. These phone calls are often scams designed to threaten individuals with some sort of law enforcement or legal action in order to get them to send money towards bogus tax bills.
“If you get a phone call claiming to be someone from DOR or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that demands payment on a bill immediately, be suspicious,” advised DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp. “Be extra leery if payment is requested through wire transfer, prepaid debit cards or gift cards. Neither agency will accept payments in these forms or threaten a taxpayer for not paying.”
The federal government’s Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reports that 14,700 victims have paid more than $72 million as a result of phone scams since 2013.
“Remember, if you have an outstanding liability with the State of Indiana, DOR will contact you first by mail,” added Commissioner Krupp. “If Hoosiers ever have questions about correspondence from either tax agency–DOR or the IRS–they should call that agency directly to clear up any discrepancies or confirm which actions they need to take.”
Customers should be aware that DOR and the IRS will never:
- Call demanding immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the taxpayer will receive a bill in the mail if taxes are owed.
- Demand taxpayers pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. Taxpayers should also be advised of Indiana’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, here.
- Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement to have the taxpayer arrested for refusing payment.
- Threaten to revoke a taxpayer’s driver’s license, business licenses or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.
- Call about an unexpected refund.
If taxpayers think they are the target of a phone scam:
- Do not give the caller any personal information and hang up immediately.
- Call TIGTA at 800-366-4484 or report online here.
- Report to DOR by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 317-232-2240.
- To confirm any claims made by a potential scammer, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or DOR Customer Service at 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST.