IRS Warns of Fake Tax Bill Emails

Numerous reports of scammers sending fraudulent CP2000 Notices for tax-year 2015 have been received by the IRS. A common current scam relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and requests information regarding 2014 coverage. It also includes a request for payment of unpaid taxes.

Here's what taxpayers need to know:

What is a CP2000 Notice?

A CP2000 Notice is generated by the IRS Automated Under-reporter Program when income reported from third-party sources (such as an employer) does not match the income reported on the tax return. It provides instructions to taxpayers about what to do if they agree or disagree that additional tax is owed.

A CP2000 Notice is never sent as part of an email to taxpayers.

Indicators that the CP2000 Notice you received is a scam include the following:

  • Notices are sent electronically, even though the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or through social media platforms;

  • The CP2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas, address;

  • The underreported issue is related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requesting information regarding 2014 coverage;

  • The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C.

The fraudulent CP2000 Notice often includes a payment request, asking taxpayers to mail a check made out to "I.R.S." and sent to the "Austin Processing Center" at a PO Box address. This is in addition to a "payment" link within the email itself.

Unlike the fake version, a real CP2000 Notice provides instructions to taxpayers about what to do if they agree or disagree that additional tax is owed. A real notice also requests that checks be made out to "United States Treasury,” not IRS.  (Note how easy it is to forge “IRS” into “CASH.”)

IRS Impersonation Scams

IRS impersonation scams take many forms: threatening telephone calls, phishing emails, and demanding letters. Anyone who receives this scam email should forward it to and then immediately delete it from their email account.

Taxpayers should always beware of any unsolicited email purported to be from the IRS or any unknown source. Never open an attachment or click on a link within an email sent by an unknown person or a source you do not know.

Always contact your CPA before responding to any notice from tax authorities.