Tax scammers are at it again. The IRS has just issued an alert to taxpayers to be on guard against fake emails containing a fraudulent IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act. The fraudulent tax bill uses the same formatting and very similar language to the actual IRS Form CP2000.
The Real Form 2000CP
The IRS sends Form 2000CP when income reported from third-party sources (such as an employer) does not match the income reported by the taxpayer on his return. The form provides instructions to taxpayers about what to do if they agree or disagree with the proposed additional tax. If the taxpayer will send payment, the form instructs that payment be made out to “United States Treasury.” The Form 2000CP is mailed to taxpayers—it is never emailed.
The Fake Form 2000CP
The IRS has received numerous reports of a fake Form 2000CP being emailed to taxpayers around the country. The fake forms have the following characteristics:
- An email that contains the fake CP2000 as an attachment
- The notice appears to be issued from Austin, Texas
- The underreported issue is related to the Affordable Care Act requesting information regarding 2014 coverage
- The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C
- The notice includes a payment request that taxpayers mail a check made out to “I.R.S.” to the “Austin Processing Center” at a PO Box. This is in addition to a payment link within the email itself.
The American Institute of Tax Problem Solvers (of which we are members) obtained a copy of the fake tax notice. It can be viewed here.
What to Do if You Receive a Fake Notice
Taxpayers who receive this scam email should not open the attachment, but forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it from their email account. Taxpayers should be wary of any unsolicited email purported to be from the IRS. They should never open an attachment or click on a link within an email sent by an unknown source.
Buzzkill Disclaimer: This post contains general tax information that may or may not apply in your specific tax situation. Please consult a tax professional before relying on any information contained in this post.