Tax Season Means Scam Season: What to Watch for

Tax Season Means Scam Season: What to Watch for

Tax Season Means Scam Season: What to Watch for

Tax season means a lot of things. It means organized taxpayers are already preparing their returns and getting ready for their refunds. It means disorganized taxpayers are scrambling to find everything they need just to start their returns. It means accountants are busy helping both organized and disorganized taxpayers file their returns. And it means procrastinators are shoving the very thought of taxes into the furthest regions of their minds. Indeed, tax season means a lot of things to a lot of different people. It also means taxpayers need to be on guard because tax season means scam season.

Be on the Lookout for Scammers

This is the busiest time of the year for scam artists to steal your tax refund, and even your identity, if possible. There are all kinds of tax scams to watch out for so you need to be prepared. Here are some tips to keep you informed and on alert, so you can avoid getting scammed out of your tax refund. It all starts with being aware of how the IRS actually operates. There are some things that the agency simply will not do. If you ever come across someone claiming to work for the IRS who tries to use one of these tactics, then you are dealing with a scam.

They Won’t Demand Payment

The IRS will not demand specific types of payments, such as wire payments, debit cards or gift cards. If you owe money you simply make a payment to the U.S. Treasury. The IRS also allows you to set up payment plans so the money is rarely due all at once.

They Won’t Ask for Personal Info or Account Numbers

The IRS will never ask for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone. If you ever get a call demanding tax payment then simply hang up. It’s a scam. You can make note of the number and send the information to the IRS at

They Won’t Threaten You

The IRS will never threaten to have you arrested or deported. The agency will not threaten to revoke your business license or driver’s license, either. The IRS will contact you via USPS to inform you of any issues. The letter will include instructions for the next steps. The IRS will also allow you to appeal any issues and they offer several ways to resolve these issues.

They Use USPS

The IRS will not generally contact you via telephone, social media, or email. They might call you but only after you have received a notification in the mail first. If you receive any emails, social media messages, or phone calls from someone claiming to work for the IRS, send the message to the IRS via email and then delete the message. Never click on any links in any of these messages. Likewise, do not open any attachments or give out any passwords. Avoiding a tax scam is not hard if you know what to look for. Follow these simple guidelines and your tax season should be a safe one.


We hope you found this article about “Tax Season Means Scam Season: What to Watch for” helpful.  If you have questions or need expert tax or family office advice that’s refreshingly objective (we never sell investments), please contact us or visit our Family office page  or our website at  Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.

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Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.

Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.



The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business.

Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most.

They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

Creating purpose in life / Building a foundation for their life / Solving problems / Finding fulfillment through philanthropy and service / Becoming self-reliant / Enhancing effective leadership / Balancing family and work…

Untitled_Artwork copy 4 (Also sponsored by GROCO) provides free access to content and world-class entrepreneurs, influencers and thought leaders’ personal success stories. To help you find your path in life to true, sustainable success & happiness.  It’s mission statement:

In an increasingly complex and difficult world, we hope to help you find your personal path in life and build a strong foundation by learning how others found success and happiness. True and sustainable success and happiness are different for each one of us but possible, often despite significant challenges.

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