Local Accounting Firm Reminds Taxpayers that “Federal and State Tax Agencies Will Always Contact you via Snail Mail First”
The partners of Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP want all taxpayers to know about the latest scams taking place on unsuspecting, hardworking individuals and families during this very busy tax season. In addition to a recent statement from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warning residents of phone call scams, the firm has additionally become aware of an email phishing scam.
The email, wrought with spelling and grammatical mistakes, begins “Dear Tax-payer, We are reaching out to you in regards to your E-Filing, from the previous year and current year…” and ends with a disclaimer that the IRS will never share your personal information. The “sender” of the email is listed as IRS-gov.us, and the “sent from” the address firstname.lastname@example.org. Though many will overlook the fact that the email address is not government issued, it is especially important to note that the IRS’ Website is actually www.irs.gov. Any email correspondence they do ultimately have with taxpayers always comes direct from an agent to your tax preparer during an audit and not the “Internal Revenue Service.”
Additionally, Governor Cuomo recently shared a phone scam that is affecting taxpayers locally. In this instance, callers are posing as New York State Treasury agents, encouraging residents to turn over their bank account information. Another potential tax-preparation scam for which taxpayers should be vigilant relates to penalties related to the Affordable Care Act. In this situation, untrustworthy tax preparers tell clients to pay the money directly to them.
“To avoid being the victim of a scam, the Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz team encourages all taxpayers to remain vigilant for potential theft,” says Scott Sanders, CPA, PFS, CGMA, CFP©, CFS, Managing Partner, Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP. “Never reply to emails or phone calls from a government agent who had not initially reached out to you via snail mail. Remember that tax payments should always be sent direct to the government agencies, not to your tax preparer. And, if you think you’ve come across a potential scam, the Governor has set up a new Webpage, where this fraud can be reported.”
If you have any questions or issues with either phone calls or emails from government agencies, Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz has a team of professionals available to help. For more information, call (516) 938-5219.