Experts warn of ‘impersonation scams’ while filing taxes

The federal income tax deadline is Wednesday, July 15
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 3:36 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The federal income tax deadline is Wednesday, July 15, but with it comes dangers of scammers.

If you still need to file, experts say you should do it online because there's a huge backlog of paper tax returns because many IRS employees have been working from home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you need more time to file your taxes, you can request an extension to October 15, but you still need to submit an extension form by the end of July 15.

The delay gave many Americans more time to file this year, but experts say it also gave scammer more time ot target you.

"This pandemic has delayed the inevitable scam for us," said Susan Bach, Northeast Wisconsin Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau. "It's just given a longer season to those scammers to be able to perpetrate this scam by claiming to be an IRS official."

Bach said even after you file your taxes, scammers posing as the IRS will still try to trick you.

"We've definitely seen an uptick in the days leading up to the tax deadline and then shortly thereafter," said Bach.

Bach said 'impersonators' usually want one of two things, money or information. She said they can also be very persuasive.

"They're going to give you a badge number and they're going to be very aggressive, " said Bach. "They're very convincing so people might just panic and hand over that information."

Bach says do your best to remain calm and remember the tell-tale signs of a scam.

Bach said the IRS will never call, send an email/text message or reach out to you on social media. She said the IRS will never demand immediate payment or ask for a gift card or wire transfer. She also said the IRS will never threaten to arrest you or call local authorities.

"The IRS just doesn't operate that way. If there is a legitimate problem with your tax return, the IRS is going to start with a letter to you," said Bach.

If you still have concerns, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 or visit

If you think your return is taking longer than normal, Bach says don't panic or fall for a scammer. The IRS said it is dealing with staffing issues during the pandemic so paper returns will take longer.

"Until you get that tax return or pay that tax bill, this probably is an issue that you should be aware of," said Bach.

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