Scam warnings are something we are all weary with. Yet every year more and more complex tax scams surface. These con artists prey on people who are in desperate need and have debt they cannot afford to pay. Unfortunately, qualifying for an offer in compromise is much more difficult and, in many cases, not even possible. The IRS has very specific requirements to qualify for an offer in compromise.
When a firm offers to eliminate your tax debt without knowing anything about you a red flag should go up. The IRS calls these unsolicited offers to eliminate tax debt Offer in Compromise "mills".
The IRS reports, "Offer in Compromise mills contort the IRS program into something it's not – misleading people with no chance of meeting the requirements while charging these people excessive fees, often thousands of dollars."
"We're increasingly concerned that people having trouble paying their taxes are being duped into misleading claims about settling their tax debts for 'pennies on the dollar'," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "The IRS urges people to take a few minutes to review information on IRS.gov to see if they might be a good candidate for the program – and avoiding costly promoters who advertise on radio and television."
Taxpayers can go to IRS.gov and review the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier Tool to see if they qualify for an OIC. This is a free tool that determines if you would qualify for an offer in compromise and then provides two payment options to satisfy the tax debt.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that under the First Time Penalty Abatement policy, taxpayers can go directly to the IRS for administrative relief from a penalty that would otherwise be added to their tax debt.
SCAM ALERT: Hawaiʻi Department of Taxation Warns Taxpayers Regarding “Distraint Warrant” and Other Scams
HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Taxation (Department) is cautioning taxpayers about recent activity in Hawaiʻi involving tax-related scams, including phishing attempts in the form of text messages, mailed letters, social media messages, or emails.
The Department has issued a press release and sample "Distraint Warrant" scam letter to warn taxpayers. They may be viewed here:
Department of Taxation Warns Taxpayers Regarding “Distraint Warrant” and Other Scams