IRS warns about fake underreported income notices CP2000
Fake CP2000 notices were emailed to taxpayers requesting a payment
TAX ALERT |
On Sept. 22, 2016, the IRS and its security summit partners issued IR-2016-123 informing taxpayers and tax practitioners to be on guard for fake emails containing a tax balance due notice in connection with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The fake emails transmit an authentic-looking ‘underreported income’ notice (Notice CP2000) from the IRS Automated Underreporter Program, indicating that income reported from third-party sources does not match income reported on a tax return. Such notices are never emailed by the IRS, but are usually mailed through the United States Postal Service. A real Notice CP2000 has extensive instructions about what to do if the taxpayer disagrees with additional tax, as well as offer different payment options. The real notice will also request the taxpayer to mail a check made out to United States Treasury.
The IRS has reported the scam to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for investigation.
The IRS has issued the following tips to help taxpayers and tax practitioners identify a fraudulent Notice CP2000:
- The fake notices were sent via email; the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or through social media platforms
- The fake CP2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas address
- The underreported income issue is related to the ACA requesting information regarding 2014 coverage
- The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C
- The fake email requests that taxpayers mail a check made out to the ‘I.R.S.’ to the ‘Austin Processing Center’ and lists a Post Office address. The email itself also contains a payment link.
The IRS recommends that taxpayers and tax practitioners that received an email with a fake Notice CP2000 forward the fake email to firstname.lastname@example.org and delete it from their email accounts.
The IRS further recommends that when and if the taxpayer or tax practitioner is in doubt about the legitimacy of any notice received from the IRS, to do a keyword search on www.irs.gov. Taxpayers who receive any correspondence or notice from the IRS will be able to view explanations and images of legitimate common correspondence on www.irg.gov at Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter.