July 22, 2016

Contacted by an IRS impersonator scam? Complaint about an IRS employee? Contact TIGTA.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or "TIGTA" is responsible for audits, inspections, and investigations into matters related to the United States' federal tax system and the Internal Revenue Service.   TIGTA may sound like a rather funny name (or acronym, I guess), but the efforts of this typically-behind-the-scenes agency are critical for identifying problems within the IRS and related tax administration issues.  I've had the pleasure of hearing TIGTA employees speak at IRS Nationwide Tax Forums, and have visited with them at their convention hall booth.  Bright, hard working people.

Earlier this year I posted about the prevalence of IRS impersonator scams, and how to notify TIGTA if you have been contacted by one of these scams, or are a victim of a scam.  As a followup, TIGTA just published a new brochure detailing it's mission and what the agency does to protect the federal tax system and taxpayers.  It's a good read and provides important contact information for reporting IRS fraud, waste, and abuse; and IRS impersonator scams.

Questions about Tax Matters?

I am an Enrolled Agent licensed by the Department of the Treasury which allows me to provide tax services to taxpayers in all 50 states and US territories.  I provide tax services to individual income, business, estate, and trust clients.  Please contact me if you have questions about tax preparation, tax planning, or taxpayer representation (audit and collection) matters.

For information about my nationwide Consulting, Expert Witness, and Tax Services visit Fouts Financial Group.

Mary Rae Fouts

8 comments:

  1. Where are these IRS scammers located?

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    Replies
    1. The scammers are located both in the United States and offshore, according to investigations and arrests. At least 2 major rings were busted this year that I immediately recall, one in Miami, Florida involving 5 IRS impersonator scammers that had bilked nearly $2 million from 1500 victims. Another arrest was in New Jersey, at least one Indian national who was affiliated with an IRS impersonator scam based in the country of India.

      The scammers who call via telephone use fake caller ID numbers and give fake return call numbers. For the calls that I've gotten (my husband and I got 3 just this week between the two of us), the numbers appear to be located in Southern California, or in Virginia near Washington, D.C. Don't fall for it, these scammers are still going strong. These are spoof telephone numbers that will transfer to wherever the scammers are located, be it in the United States or a foreign country.

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  2. If I'm the victim of an IRS scam, can I write off the scam loss on my taxes?

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    Replies
    1. No, it's not like Jerry Seinfeld's "they just right it off" episode.

      Personal theft losses are first reduced by $100 for each un-reiumbursed (by insurance or other means) theft. Then the theft losses are deductible as an itemized deduction, but only if such losses exceed 10% of that year's adjusted gross income (AGI) as calculated on your federal tax return Form 1040 or similar form.

      Please contact me if you have more detailed questions.

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  3. If I contact TIGTA with a complaint about the IRS, will that make me more likely to be audited by the IRS?

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    Replies
    1. No. Also, any complaints made to TIGTA are investigated on the merits of the complaints, not the person(s) or organization that reported the complaint.

      Contact TIGTA directly (800-366-4484) if you would like to discuss your question in more detail with them.

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  4. My employer pays me in cash and does not take out my social security and other stuff. Can I report him to TIGTA?

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    Replies
    1. Good question! No, you need to report that matter to the IRS. I'll do a post about this situation in the near future.

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