IRS phone scam persists amid reinstated legitimate debt collection calls

IRS phone scam persists amid reinstated legitimate debt collection calls

(It's always a good idea to have last year's tax return on hand when preparing your return, whether or not you e-file.) If you misplaced your return, you can find last year's AGI with the IRS's "Get Transcript" tool. Ideally, you should get with your accountant or tax pro and file as soon as you possibly can.

Cavanagh said it is best to file all tax returns that are due, regardless of whether or not you can pay in full. A taxpayer can only be asked to make a payment to the IRS or the U.S. Treasury.

That gives the tax man a leg up on what to expect when you file, and if your return doesn't match up with IRS computers, then it's going to raise a red flag with the IRS that could lead to an audit. Finally, in the most basic of ways, if you had had that money in your paycheck each pay period perhaps it would have helped you be able to make ends meet a little bit better with less struggle and stress. Have them organized when you are ready to start the task of filing. For the 2016 tax year (the return you file in 2017), this means that the filing deadline is extended until October 16, 2017.

In California, taxpayers have an automatic 6-month extension to file their California state income taxes.

The IRS tax scam: bad guys pretending to be calling from the IRS, demanding immediate payment and making terrifying threats. There's even an IRS2Go app for paying with your mobile device.

The private debt collection program was created by a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2015. According to the IRS, taxpayers and their representatives will be sent written notice by mail of the account transfer.

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The BBB also indicates a legitimate IRS collection call will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card.

The IRS has contracted with four specific debt collectors and says it's taking steps to ensure they work responsibly. If requesting a payment agreement with the IRS, also attach Form 9465 to the front of the return.

Another option is to pay taxes with your credit card. Taxpayers can verify they have an unpaid tax debt from a previous year by visiting www.irs.gov/balancedue.

Just make sure that if you file for an extension you realize that you are only giving yourself more time to finish your paperwork. For instance, Americans who fall under the Generation X generation were also likely to use their tax refunds for savings or to pay off their debt. If your taxes are relatively simple, you may still have the ability to timely file your taxes, either by mailing in your tax return or via electronic filing.

If you feel your taxpayer rights have been violated or if you've fallen prey to a tax scammer, the IRS recommends registering your complaint with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. TurboTax's video points out that "you must claim the refund no later than three years from the time you originally file the tax returns or within two years of paying the tax, whichever is later".

Although 2013 filing dates are long gone, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window in which to claim a refund, Williamson said. When filing an individual tax return electronically, taxpayers must electronically sign the tax return using a personal identification number (PIN): either the Self-Select PIN or the Practitioner PIN method.