Even COVID-19 Can’t Stop the Scammers

With the extension of the income tax filing season through July 15th and the forthcoming stimulus funds that will be distributed to taxpayers, it is important for everyone to stay vigilant to avoid scammers and fraudsters who continue to prey on taxpayers. If you receive a stimulus check in the next few weeks, it is likely a fraudulent check. The IRS will first be sending stimulus money through direct deposit to those taxpayers with direct deposit information already on file with the IRS. For others, the IRS will be sending checks, but it will be several weeks before they begin to do that.

Be extremely wary of giving anyone your personal or business information, particularly if they represent that they are from the IRS or Treasury Department. The IRS will never ask for personal or business information by email, social media, direct calling or any other medium. Nearly all IRS initiated communication between the IRS and taxpayers is through the mail and the IRS will never ask a taxpayer through mail or otherwise to go to a website to verify personal or business information. The Treasury Department advises on its website (home.treasury.gov) that no one should respond to calls, emails or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards. The applies equally to communications from the IRS. In this time of COVID-19 and economic uncertainty, it is best to stay home, stay healthy and stay wary.

For more information, please contact Emily Dorisio in the Lexington, Kentucky office at 859.899.8714, or any one of the attorneys in our Tax Group.