It's that time of year people dread: tax season. Filing taxes is daunting enough, and adding in debt problems is a recipe for disaster. Which is exactly what scammers hope to convey. By striking fear in the hearts of debtors they can take advantage. Financial experts warn that debt scams increase around tax season. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself.
Debt Scams Increase Around Tax Season
First, check your credit report. While taxes don't have much to do with your credit, you do want to check for any wrong information. As a result, checking your report will also give you an advantage if you are contacted by a scammer. By knowing what a recent report looks like you won't be as tempted to believe anyone lying about a fake debt. Scammers often make false claims to try and scare you into thinking you are behind on a debt. They do this to try and get you to provide them with personal or payment information over the phone. Always ask for proof of the debt by telling a debt collector to provide verification of the debt. Any scammer won't be able to provide this proof.
Another important thing to know is how the IRS makes contact with you. The IRS will never call you to state you owe a tax debt. The IRS strictly operates on written correspondence sent through the mail. If you receive a call stating you owe the IRS money, hang up immediately. Contact the IRS directly to find out if you owe them money. Some scammers may fake documents that look like official IRS correspondence. If you do receive a letter from the IRS about a tax debt, it is a good idea to call or check online first.
Finally, don't forget to contact a debt professional. A Rocklin CA bankruptcy lawyer can stop debt collectors from contacting you. You can learn more about your debt relief options, including options for tax debt.