Getting a phone call from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be concerning, particularly if it’s regarding unpaid taxes or liens against your property. If you do receive a call from IRS claiming you owe taxes or that your property’s being seized, however, make sure it’s not a scam. The IRS will never call you directly without having mailed you a notice first.
Here’s how the IRS processes tax liens and what to do if you think you’ve received a call from the IRS tax lien phone number.
If you do not pay your taxes in a timely manner, the federal government can put a tax lien on your property. This is a legal claim to your property if you continue to avoid paying taxes. It gives the government first rights to your assets over creditors for other debts. A lien can seriously impact your credit score and your ability to get credit.
Image via Flickr by bionicteaching
To avoid a tax lien, you must pay your taxes in full and on time. To get rid of an existing lien, you must also pay your taxes in full, plus any penalties, interest, or other fees. Thirty days after you have paid in full the IRS will release the lien. If you can’t pay that full amount, some back tax assistance options are available to you, including:
If you have outstanding back tax amount, the IRS will contact you via the U.S. postal service, informing you of the delinquent monies and requesting payment. If you do not pay your taxes, the government will file a public Notice of Federal Tax Lien to notify creditors of its right to your property.
Federal tax lien notices get sent out from the Centralized Lien Processing Operation in Cincinnati, Ohio. This office also handles taxpayer phone calls, mailings, and processing lien changes, withdrawals, refiles, or revocations. Local recording offices will receive this notice and file and record it properly. This helps notify both the taxpayer and any creditors or other individuals with stakes in your property of the lien against you.
If the IRS files a lien against you, it will send you a letter notifying you of this action and stating the amount of taxes you owe. This amount is public record until you pay it off.
Scammers and robocalls have been targeting taxpayers with increasing frequency claiming to be the IRS. Many sound professional and legitimate and can fool you into thinking they’re real. After all, you don’t want to disregard any notices or calls from the IRS. Common lines from these scammers include demanding payment for owed taxes, asking for personal information, and threatening legal action or a lien against your property. Some even request payment via gift card.
If you don’t answer one of these robocalls, the caller might leave a threatening voicemail. Do not respond, and do not call the number back. This only puts you at risk for divulging more information to the caller.
To avoid falling prey to one of these scams, know that the IRS will not do the following:
If you do receive a suspicious phone call about back taxes, the IRS recommends that you take these steps:
However, if you do have back taxes or questions about your taxes, you should contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Don’t ignore official notices or letters from the IRS.
IRS contacts you can trust and numbers you can call for information or assistance with a lien include the following:
If you receive a call from the IRS, make sure you’re not being scammed, and do not give out any personal information over the phone.
If you have outstanding back taxes or a lien against you, however, you will need to pay your taxes in full to get back in good standing with the IRS. Reach out to our experts here at Solvable or use our educational resources on Solvable to help reduce your back tax amount and lift any liens.