When a tax jurisdiction calls, do you hang up on them or talk to them? One could argue that it depends whether the caller identifies himself with the IRS or PA.
Let’s start with the IRS. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, it likely is an IRS impersonator. Scammers are getter better at their jobs. They often introduce themselves by name and provide the target with a false IRS identity number. When an IRS impersonator calls, they often use high-pressure tactics to demand that payment be remitted immediately . . . or ELSE! The caller will state that failure to remit payment immediately will mean that the person called will suffer immediate harm, such as an arrest or property seizure.
That is a lot of pressure! What should you do in such cases?
One approach is to tell the caller that you are represented by your tax professional and ask if the caller would like your tax advisor’s contact information. An even more effective safety net is to ask that your tax professional prepare a power of attorney for you to file with the IRS. When the IRS receives a POA for a taxpayer, the IRS is precluded from directly contacting the taxpayer and is required to contact the taxpayer’s tax representative. Then when the “IRS calls”, all you need to say is “I have a POA on file with the IRS, talk to my representative”, and then hang up.
Now let’s address the wisdom of the PA Office of Unemployment Compensation Service (PA UC). With all of the publicity about telephone scams, one would think that contacting taxpayers by telephone as the first form of contact would be quickly dismissed by any tax jurisdiction. What has PA decided to do? PA UC has decided to make its initial contact with employers by telephone! PA says that companies will know that the call is legit because the PA UC’s toll free number 888-313-7284 will appear on the Caller ID. Okay PA business owners, as you likely have nothing better to do, PA expects you to memorize this number in case it calls you. The PA UC has agreed that if the employer chooses not to accept the call as a legitimate call, the employer will be asked to verify over the telephone where and how the fact finding questionnaire should be sent . . . by fax, mail, or email. Fine, I’m not sure this call is legitimate, so I am going to give you my mailing address, fax number, or email address. What is the PA UC thinking?
If you want to discuss your business or personal tax planning and tax preparation concerns with an experienced tax professional, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.