Gift Cards for Taxes? Know the Difference Between the IRS and IRS Scammers


Scammers are all over world; in every crack that you find. Not literally, but it can seem that way at times. Some ways that scammers can contact you are through phone calls, phishing emails, fake Facebook account friend requests, fake trial offers, Wi-Fi danger zones, and other non-secure ways. They are willing to pull any trick to get your money.


One trick that scammers love to pull is calling you and pretending that they are the IRS. That is why it is important to know the difference between legitimate IRS calls and IRS scammer calls. The IRS will often send you a notice in the mail if you are really behind on tax bills. They will send you the notice before they call. IRS scammers will inform you in the call that you have a (fake) unpaid tax bill. Scammers will demand that you pay them immediately with credit cards or gift cards. They often use threatening verbiage, such as jail time or hefty fines. A real IRS agent would never demand payments from your credit cards or suggest that you go out and buy gift cards to pay for tax bills. If you are ever threatened by people claiming to be the IRS and demand to give them your card number, then know that it is in your right to make a police report.


Want to learn more about how to keep scammers at bay? If you have any questions about scammers or the IRS, please contact Lakeesha Browne, CPA. This information was brought to you by IRS Tax Tip 2020-151, which was posted on November 9, 2020.


“Reminder to all taxpayers: Gift cards are not used to make tax payments.” IRS, www.irs.gov/newsroom/reminder-to-all-taxpayers-gift-cards-are-not-used-to-make-tax-payments. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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