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I was driving from Miami to Orlando Florida yesterday when I got an urgent text from a client of mine. She stated that she was on the phone with the IRS, and they were telling her that she owed them money and had a court date for Thursday. They stated that she had to pay them $1,423.00 or they would come to her house and arrest her. I immediately picked up the phone and called my client. When I arrived in Orlando, I saw a story on the local news discussing the exact same thing that happened to my client. Based on this, I wanted to get the word out as quickly as I could.

First of all, the IRS DOES NOT send taxpayers email. Never, ever, ever…they don’t allow for emails in their system. If you EVER get an email from someone stating that they are from the IRS immediately DELETE it. Secondly, the IRS might call you, or even show up at your house and say that you owe them money. HOWEVER, there is no CRIMINAL PENALTY for not paying your income taxes. In short, if you owe the IRS you can’t go to jail for not paying them. If someone does call you and identify that they are from the IRS, ask for their BADGE NUMBER. This is their employee identification number. EVERY IRS employee has one. Get a telephone number and tell them that you will call them back. If an IRS Officer shows up at your office or home ask to see their badge. They have to show it to you. Do not talk to them if they do not identify themselves. If you have an accountant or tax preparer call them and ask them to handle the phone call or visit for you. If you owe the IRS money, before they show up at your house or office, and before they call you they would have sent you SEVERAL letters by U.S. Mail. You will know about it. In my client’s case they asked her to get a Vanilla Card and load $1,423.00 on it, and someone would pick up the cards at her house. The IRS doesn’t take Vanilla Cards.

In short, if you get a call from the IRS or they show up at your home or office, ask to see their badge, or what their badge number is. If they call you, get their number and call them back. If you have an accountant call them. Get them involved. Thankfully, my client contacted me. When I talked to her she was frazzled and scared. I was able to calm her down, and she didn’t fall victim to this scam.

Craig Smalley is the managing partner of CWSEAPA®, LLP, which is an accounting and financial firm located in Delaware, Florida, and Nevada. Craig has been Admitted to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, is a Certified Estate Planner™, and is a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist™. Craig specializes in taxation and IRS representation all the way through the United States Tax Court. Form more information visit, call 1-844-CWSEAPA, or email him at

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