17 April 2024

Tax Alert: You Got A Call From The IRS – Now What?

Shulman Rogers


Shulman Rogers is a full-service law firm with its principal office located in Potomac, Maryland and branch offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Today, with 110+ attorneys, 30 legal assistants and more than 50 other staff and support personnel, the firm is organized into five general operating departments: real estate, business & financial services, litigation, medical malpractice/personal injury and trusts & estates.
The Internal Revenue Service has received substantial funding from Congress, and the fruits of that funding are beginning to become apparent.
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The Internal Revenue Service has received substantial funding from Congress, and the fruits of that funding are beginning to become apparent. If your business or anyone you know is contacted by the IRS, it is important to know how to respond. Here are some guidelines:

  1. Unsolicited Telephone Call from someone identifying as an employee of the IRS: DO NOT ENGAGE! This call is either spam or something more nefarious. The IRS never calls a taxpayer unless the taxpayer has consented to the call. Even in that situation, the IRS wants everything memorialized in writing. Do not respond to telephone calls. Do not give any financial information to someone over the phone, via text or via email.
  2. Letter from the IRS: Make certain that the letter is legitimate. The IRS Letter will include the identification number of the taxpayer such as a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number (although possibly only the last four digits). The letter should also include instructions regarding the next steps and will give the IRS employee's contact information. If you have any suspicion that the letter may not be legitimate, call the contact person on the letter to verify. Even in that situation, do not give that person any financial information, Social Security Number/Taxpayer Identification Number or other identifying information. All of that information should be communicated in writing by mail or fax (yes, the IRS still uses faxes as a means of communicating). The IRS only uses encrypted emails, and only with taxpayers that have signed up to communicate via online communications. Never send information to an email address that is not encrypted. That is not a legitimate inquiry from the IRS.
  3. Legitimate Letter from the IRS: Do not panic! The process with the IRS is a long and slow road with many detours along the way. The IRS mails many letters that are issued automatically via computer. These letters are intended to intimidate taxpayers to get them to comply with whatever it is that is being requested. It is best to read all of the fine print and take advantage of all of the appeal rights available to taxpayers. The IRS makes mistakes. It is important to take the time to hold the IRS accountable, find the mistakes and get to a fair and equitable conclusion for all parties.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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