A client called me yesterday to say they received an e-mail from the IRS. The e-mail said my client was owed an additional $169 refund, and that my client would need to provide bank account information before the IRS would pay the refund.

My client wisely deleted the e-mail without opening any attachments or responding in any way.

The IRS never, ever sends e-mails to taxpayers. If you get an e-mail from the IRS … the IRS didn’t send it. It’s a phishing scam. 

In my client’s case, if she really had been owed an additional refund, the IRS would have sent a letter. Same goes for audits or requests for additional information. Those requests will come by regular mail, not e-mail. The IRS also will not send text messages to you.

In rare cases, you might get a call from the IRS, but that’s extremely rare. I’ve only had the IRS try calling (unsuccessfully) a client one time, and that was in a unique circumstance (this was my client going through the identity theft saga with the IRS).

The IRS does investigate phishing scams, so if you receive an e-mail claiming to be from the IRS, you can forward it on to the IRS’s “phishing department” at: phishing@irs.gov.

You can learn more about phishing scams involving taxes by visiting this page on the IRS website.

“This blog post, along with comments that may follow, should not be considered tax advice. Before you make final tax or financial decisions, please secure a professional tax advisor to give you advice about your unique situation. To secure Jason as your accountant, please click on the ‘Services’ link at the top of the page.”