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Michigan AG warns of IRS scams

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(NEWSCHANNEL 3) – On Tax Day, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is sounding the alerta bout thieves posing as IRS debt collectors.

Because of a law change in 2016, the IRS is now allowed to hire private debt collectors to go after people who haven’t paid their taxes. However, the IRS will always notify a taxpayer by letter first if there is an outstanding debt, that would typically happen ten to fifteen days after the tax deadline, so we are still a few weeks away from that.

The IRS will also never call or email you, unless you have years of unpaid debts and previous contact with the IRS.

Some things to look for that will alert you the call is a scam;

- An immediate demand for payment.

- The threat of being arrested if you don’t pay.

- Debt collectors asking you to pay over the phone with a credit card or gift cards.

“The callers will say, if you don’t pay us 10,000 you’re going to jail,” said Michelle McCasey, H&R Master Tax Advisor. “That’s a scary thing to think of. The scammers are sophisticated enough to slide that scale up and down and they can find what tweaks the emotion in that client.”

If you receive an unexpected call and you do not owe taxes, you are advised to just hang up immediately.

You can check any tax debt or balance information on the IRS website.

You can find that website and a lot more information about IRS scams in the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Alert on IRS Phone and Email Tax Scams.

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