The IRS is warning taxpayers about a new scam that is playing out this year in relation to individual tax returns being filed. This IRS Refund Scam Alert is about deposits being made into bank accounts and then requests being made to reclaim the funds. Don’t fall for this one.
The problems being when your personal computer is hacked and the tax information for the year is stolen. This personal information is used to file a tax return in your name before you file your own taxes. This next part was new in 2018, the money from the return is deposited into the tax payers own bank account instead of stolen right away. At this point, the taxpayer is contacted and a request is made to return the incorrectly deposited refund. That’s pretty inguieness.
The taxpayer might receive a call from an IRS collection agency requesting the funds, but IRS never calls individual tax payers. Or he/she could receive an automated call from the IRS fraud department with a case number and instructions on returning the money. Both of these kinds of calls are not from the IRS but from those performing the hack and following scam. Don’t return these calls, ignore them right off.
Funds sent from the IRS in error can be returned to a mailing address provided by the IRS on their website if this ever actually happens. Take a look at 2018 Tax Topic #161 on the IRS website.
If you happen to experience this most recent IRS Refund Scam, discuss the situation with your bank as closing the account might be in order.
Finally, a phone call to your tax preparer would be advisable to discuss what you should do with erroneously deposited tax refunds. You’ll have to work with the IRS also to file your real return for the year and get identity protection in the future.