Tax scam alert for NRIs in the US.

Tax scams can lead to huge loss of money as well as personal information. The tax scammers usually make use of mails or telephones for creating scams that can involve individuals and businesses also. Tax scam alert for NRIs is a common occurrence in the US now. NRIs should always keep in mind that the IRS would not contact the taxpayers by mails, text messages, or through social media channels. IRS impersonators can also intimidate the common people by preparing fabricated bills for tax.

Tax scammers remain active throughout the year and the IRS urges the NRI taxpayers to be very careful about phishing emails and scams. The IRS would usually initiate contact with the taxpayers with the help of regular mail which can be delivered by the United States Postal Service. There would be special circumstances when the IRS would contact an individual or a business such as an overdue tax bill for the security of a delinquent tax return. Taxpayers would usually receive communication from the IRS in the form of notices or letters.

The IRS does not.

NRI taxpayers must keep in mind that the IRS would not do the following activities:-

  1. The IRS would never make calls to make NRI taxpayers for making immediate tax payments using a specific payment method which can be a prepaid debit card or a gift card. As a general rule, the IRS would mail the bills due to the taxpayers who have taxes due.
  2. The IRS would not demand the NRI taxpayers for payment of taxes without even raising any question on the tax amount which is due.
  3. NRI taxpayers must always keep in mind that the IRS would never threaten them about bringing in the police, immigration, or other law enforcement officers for not being able to pay the taxes on time. Moreover, NRI taxpayers should also remember that the IRS would not be able to revoke their driving license or immigration status. Any type of threat like this is a very common tax scam for Americans and they must be aware of these occurrences.

 What the IRS does?

 The IRS would resort to the below-mentioned methods to obtain the tax payments if any due for the NRI taxpayers. 

  • Collection.

     The employees of IRS might come to your home or your workplace without any prior announcement for the collection of the tax due. However, the IRS employees will not make a demand for immediate payment of the taxes to any source other than the U.S. Treasury. The IRS would also assign private debt collectors for some of the taxpayers. The Private Collection Agencies would never ask the NRI taxpayers for payment through a gift card or a prepaid debit card. 

  • Conduct audits.

 The IRS can conduct audits and would also call NRI taxpayers for setting up appointments. The IRS can also call the taxpayers to discuss items related to the taxes. However, this would happen only when the IRS has attempted to provide notification to the taxpayers through mails. After the mailing, the IRS auditor would call the taxpayers for setting up discussion calls. 

  • Criminal investigations. 

Criminal investigations can be carried out by the IRS for tax purposes and this can lead to investigators visiting the taxpayer’s house or business. But, these investigators are agents for law enforcement and would not be asking for any payment from the taxpayers.

 Whom to contact?

If an NRI taxpayer suspects a tax scam or feels that he is being harassed by some impersonator, then he must take the below-mentioned actions.

  1. The taxpayer can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report about the tax scam.
  2. The NRI taxpayers can report the tax scams to the Federal Trade Commission. The taxpayer can use the FTC Complaint Assistant on the website.
  3. Any email which claims to be from the IRS or claims to contain IRS related components can be reported to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.


So, with the number of tax scams and frauds increasing very speedily taxpayers must remain alert and inform about anything suspicious to the IRS.