Is That IRS Notice a Forgery?  Don’t Assume!

Is That IRS Notice a Forgery?  Don’t Assume!

By Kelly M. Walsh

I have been seeing a fraud notice circulating on the internet warning that fraudsters are now issuing written notices in the mail pretending to be the IRS to get your money.  The sample being circulated shows a forgery of a CP2000 notice.  It is a good forgery, though, which means there is extra risk.  On one hand, there is the risk you may fall for a scam, but there is also a lot of risk if you ignore a very urgent and very real notice because you assume it is a scam.

I would recommend being extra cautious with this.  A CP2000 is a real notice the IRS issues to inform you of proposed changes to your income.  The real notice is an urgent notice that only gives you 30 days to respond and disagree with the proposed changes.  It is typically issued when the IRS believes you failed to list some or all of your income on your tax return.  When they issue this notice, the IRS does not have any interest in giving you credit for your business expenses, tax basis, or considering other factors that could mean that was not actually taxable income to you.  That means the proposed changes are frequently wrong.  If you don’t respond, though, they will become part of your tax obligations.  The longer you ignore it, the harder it becomes to correct a mistake.

If you get a notice that resembles the one you may have seen circulating on the internet, you should not assume it is a forgery.  You should take it to an expert right away to look it over and see if yours is a real one that needs immediate attention.  Your local police station might not be trained to recognize the difference between a real notice and a scam notice, and time is of the essence.  A tax attorney is.

If you get a real CP2000, you only have 30 days to respond to it and disagree with the proposed changes.  There are more appeal options later, but in my experience the CP2000 response process is the most efficient and effective way of avoiding an unreasonably high tax assessment.  I do it pretty regularly in my tax law practice.

If you have received a notice from the IRS or purporting to be from the IRS, call 717-657-7770 right away to schedule a free consultation with a tax attorney at Scaringi Law.  We can help you determine if it is a real notice or a forgery, and help you deal with it appropriately.

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