Beware of Fake IRS Tax Bill Notices

The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners are warning taxpayers and tax professionals of fake IRS tax bills circulating that are allegedly related to the Affordable Care Act.

Multiple Reports of Scams
The IRS has received numerous reports of scammers sending copies of a fraudulent version of a notice for tax year 2015. The fake notice is labelled CP2000. The issue has been reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and it is currently under investigation.  The IRS is warning taxpayers and tax service providers that this scam may arrive as an email attachment or via a postal service mailing. It contains the following red flags that automatically identify it as fraudulent:

  • The CP2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas address.
  • The accompanying letter says the issue is related to the Affordable Care Act and requests taxpayer information regarding their 2014 coverage.
  • The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C.
  • The notice asserts a request that all checks be made out to IRS and sent to the “Austin Processing Center” at a post office box.

The Real Deal
An authentic CP2000 notice is used when income reported from third-party sources such as an employer does not match the income reported on the tax return. Unlike the fake, it provides extensive instructions to taxpayers about what to do if they agree or disagree that additional tax is owed. A real notice requests that checks be made out to “United States Treasury.”

Official IRS Sites
IRS impersonation scams take many forms, including but not necessarily limited to threatening phone calls, phishing emails and demanding letters. Learn more at Reporting Phishing and Online Scams The IRS does not initiate unsolicited email contact or contact by social media. The IRS and its Security Summit partners – the state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry – are conducting a campaign to raise awareness among taxpayer and tax professionals about increasing their security and becoming familiar with various tax-related scams such as this one. Learn more at Taxes, Security, Together  or Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself

If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other fraudulent notices, please contact a member of the HBK Tax Advisory Group and we will be glad to help.

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About the Author(s)
Nick is a Principal in the Youngstown, Ohio office of HBK CPAs & Consultants. He is a member of the HBK Tax Advisory Group and has experience with individual, partnerships and corporate tax compliance and research issues. Nick is also involved in evaluating and assisting with tax software implementation and administration. He is involved in internal staff training and is active in firm sponsored continuing education efforts. Nick provides support to the entire firm regarding federal, state and local tax issues.
Hill, Barth & King LLC has prepared this material for informational purposes only. Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or under any state or local tax law or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the matter.