Scammers targeting taxpayers: Here's what you should look out for

Scammers target taxpayers; Here's what you should look out for

RALEIGH — Tax season brings in an increase of reported tax scams in North Carolina.

Scammers are calling victims trying to intimidate them into paying tax debts that don’t exist, officials with the Department of Revenue said.

[Woman mistakes real IRS for scam and ignores officer]

Content Continues Below

“The North Carolina Department of Revenue is committed to safeguarding information,” said Secretary Ronald G. Penny. “This tax season, we are working harder than ever to prevent identity theft and stop refund fraud. We also want North Carolinians to know what the NCDOR will and will not do so that taxpayers can protect themselves from fraud.”

As a reminder, the NCDOR does NOT do the following:

  • The NCDOR will not contact a  taxpayer in person unless the agency has first attempted to provide the taxpayer with notification(s) via mail.
  • The NCDOR will not require a  taxpayer to use any specific payment method unless the taxpayer is in the collection process for past-due liabilities. The NCDOR offers numerous payment options; taxpayers may choose the method that is most  convenient for them.
  • The NCDOR will not initiate communications to demand immediate payment from taxpayers via text message, social media, or email.
  • The NCDOR will not demand a  taxpayer pay taxes without first giving the taxpayer an opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

Here is what taxpayers can expect when NCDOR does initiate contact:

  • When a  tax liability is in collections: Collection personnel may call or visit a taxpayer's home or business unannounced to collect past due taxes. In the event an in-person visit occurs, NCDOR personnel have been trained to present credentials to validate employment with the agency. NCDOR employees will not visit a taxpayer until a notification has been sent to the taxpayer through the mail. Forced collection activities can be taken when a taxpayer becomes noncompliant with the North Carolina  tax laws. Learn more about the collection process.
  • When a  taxpayer is being audited: Auditors may call taxpayers  to set up appointments to discuss an ongoing audit. Auditors may visit  taxpayers, but only after scheduling an appointment. In-person visits are  preceded by an audit confirmation letter.
  • When a  taxpayer is being charged criminally: Investigators may  visit a taxpayer's home or business unannounced while conducting an  investigation. These are Revenue Law Enforcement agents who are  responsible for addressing serious, criminal tax violations, and  prosecution of tax fraud. Please note: processes and procedures may differ  for a taxpayer who is under criminal investigation by the NCDOR.