Last week, the Treasury Department announced that the Internal Revenue Service will send interest payments to individual taxpayers who filed their 2019 federal income tax returns by the July 15 deadline and are due a refund.
The extension of the 2019 filing deadline to July 15, 2020, due to COVID-19, was considered a disaster-related postponement. When there is a disaster-related postponement, the IRS is required, by law, to pay interest, calculated from the original April 15 filing deadline, as long as an individual files a 2019 federal income tax return by the postponed deadline, which was July 15, 2020. This refund interest requirement only applies to individual income tax filers. Businesses are not eligible.
These interest payments are taxable; therefore, taxpayers must report the interest on their 2020 federal income tax return. In January 2021, the IRS will send a Form 1099-INT to anyone who receives interest totaling at least $10.
For more information, visit IRS.gov.
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ – IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ – IMPORTANT
The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. In addition, IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action. Being able to recognize these tell-tale signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim.
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Note that the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Remember: Scammers Change Tactics — Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round and they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike.
For additional information, visit the IRS website https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money.
Remember, the IRS will not call , text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments! Beware of emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds. Never click on links or attachments from unknown sources.
Payment recipients will receive an IRS letter: For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov to protect against scam artists.