Taxpayers continue to receive a variety of scamming calls.
One of the latest was a recorded announcement asking the taxpayer to have his/her attorney call the IRS in Los Angeles to discuss an audit. Needless to say, the taxpayer figured out that this was a scam and did not respond.
If you do get an audit, your first communications will be by mail. Until you receive written correspondence, ignore any telephone calls purported to be from the IRS. Contact the Sheriff’s Office and have them investigate.
Another favorite tactic is to ask for the lady (or man) of the house and then start the sales pitch or scam call. Unless you know who is calling, answer “no” to the question of “may I talk to …” and hang up.
Or answer only after the caller has left a message or identified himself or herself on an answering device. If he or she says they are from the IRS, do not bother to return the call.
I know I keep talking about record keeping. It is very important.
When you make a payment to the IRS (if a check it should be written to the US Treasury), verify that the payment has been received. And keep the receipt.
Several clients have had checks lost in the mail or credited to the wrong year and couldn’t prove it because they did not make copies of what they sent.
It is important that you include the taxpayer’s social security number or taxpayer identification number on the check as well as a memo stating what the check is for.
If doing a direct deposit, make sure that all relevant information is included.
If you are sending a check, make sure that the amount is debited from your checking or money market account within two to three weeks after mailing.
I find that when I mail a check, it seems to take two weeks to clear my account. I then print out the check, front and back, and file it in the folder containing the tax material for the year in question.
Virginia Moryadas is a tax preparation professional in Bluffton.