|Tax professionals and the IRS have received numerous reports around the country of scammers sending a fraudulent version of CP2000 notices for tax year 2015. Generally, the scam involves an email that includes the fake CP2000 as an attachment (an IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act}. The issue has been reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for investigation.
The CP2000 is a notice commonly mailed to taxpayers through the United States Postal Service. It is never sent as an email to taxpayers. This notice is generated by the IRS Automated Underreporter Program when income reported from third-party sources such as an employer does not match the income reported on the tax return. It provides extensive instructions to taxpayers about what to do if they agree or disagree that additional tax is owed. It also requests that a check be made out to “United States Treasury” if the taxpayer agrees additional tax is owed. Or, if taxpayers are unable to pay, it provides instructions for payment options such as installment payments.
The indicators of this particular scam are:
The fraudulent CP2000 notice features other tell-tale signs of fraud, including a payment request that taxpayers mail a check made out to “I.R.S.” to the “Austin Processing Center” at a Post Office Box address. This is in addition to a “payment” link within the email itself.
IRS impersonation scams take many forms, including threatening telephone calls, phishing emails and demanding letters. Taxpayers or tax professionals who receive this scam email should forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it from their email account. Taxpayers and tax professionals generally can do a keyword search on IRS.gov for any notice they receive. Taxpayers who receive a notice or letter can view explanations and images of common correspondence on IRS.gov at Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter. To determine if a CP2000 notice received in the mail is real, see Understanding Your CP2000 Notice at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/understanding-your-cp2000-notice, which includes an image of a real notice.
Taxpayers and tax professional should always beware of any unsolicited email purported to be from the IRS or any unknown source. They should never open an attachment or click on a link within an email sent by sources they do not know.