The IRS is warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for scammers contacting them with fraudulent emails, phone calls, texts, and via social media with offers of assistance in obtaining tax relief. The objective of the scammers is to obtain personal information to commit tax-related fraud and identity theft. Taxpayers are warned to not open surprise emails from the IRS and to not click on any attachments or links.

IRS Commissioner, Charles Rettig added, “The IRS isn’t going to call you to verify or provide financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster.”

The stimulus payments from the IRS will use information obtained from taxpayers’ 2018 or 2019 tax returns or, for Social Security recipients who do not file returns, from the Social Security Administration. Taxpayers who filed a return but did not provide direct deposit information to the IRS will be able to provide their banking information online to a newly designed secure portal on expected to be operational by mid-April. The IRS will mail checks to taxpayers who have not provided it with direct deposit information.

IRS Information Release 2020-64 containing additional information regarding the IRS scam alert is posted on the IRS website. Also on the IRS website is an updated page with questions and answers regarding the stimulus payments.

BPM is here to assist you with any questions you have regarding various forms of tax relief provided in the recent federal and state legislation in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Please reach out to your BPM advisor with any questions or concerns.