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2020 Tax Scam

Alan Borsen, CPA

January 8, 2020

Watch out for tax scams relating to Michigan Taxes Due. This was received from the State of Michigan today:

Treasury: Scammers Using Fake Letters in Collections Scam

Contact: See contact information below.

Jan. 3, 2020

Michigan taxpayers with past-due tax debts should be aware of an aggressive scam that’s making the rounds through the U.S. Postal Service, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury).

In the scheme, taxpayers receive what appears to be a government-looking letter about an overdue tax bill, asking individuals to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve a state tax debt. The letter aggressively threatens to seize a taxpayer’s assets ― including property and Social Security benefits ― if the state tax debt is not settled.

“This is a tricky scam that’s been reported throughout the state over the past year,” said Deputy State Treasurer Ann Good, who oversees Treasury’s Financial and Administrative Services programs. “Taxpayers have rights. If you have questions about an outstanding state tax debt, please contact us through a verified number so we can talk about options.”

The piece of correspondence appears credible to the taxpayer because it uses specific personal facts about their real outstanding tax debt that’s pulled directly from publicly available information. The scammer’s letter attempts to lure the taxpayer into a situation where they could make a payment to a criminal.

The state Treasury Department corresponds with taxpayers through official letters sent through the U.S. Postal Service, providing several options to resolve an outstanding debt and information outlining taxpayer rights.

Taxpayers who receive a letter from a scammer or have questions about their state debts should call the Treasury’s Collections Service Center at 517-636-5265. A customer service representative can log the scam, verify outstanding state debts and provide flexible payment options.

To learn more about Michigan’s taxes and the collections process, go to www.michigan.gov/taxes or follow the state Treasury Department on Twitter at @MITreasury.

 

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