Fort Smith, Arkansas – David Clay Fowlkes, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division reminded taxpayers of the July 15 filing and payment deadline and warned against an increase in tax and COVID-19 scams.
Due to COVID-19, the original filing deadline and tax payment due date for 2019 was postponed from April 15 to July 15. Taxpayers filing Form 1040 series returns must file Form 4868 by July 15 to obtain the automatic extension to Oct. 15.
As the filing deadline approaches, taxpayers should beware of tax and COVID-19 related scams. “Criminals use the tax filing deadline as an opportunity to steal personal and financial information”, said Acting U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes for the Western District of Arkansas. “Taxpayers should remain vigilant and know that the IRS will not initiate contact with them via phone, email or social media to request personal or financial information.”
“Although the extension provides additional time to file the tax return – it is not an extension to pay any taxes due”, said Tamera Cantu, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-CI’s Dallas Field Office. “For people facing hardships who cannot pay in full, including those affected by COVID-19, the IRS has several options available to help. The IRS encourages taxpayers to visit IRS.gov as soon as possible to explore these options and avoid accruing interest and penalties after the July 15 deadline.”
In the last few months, the IRS Criminal Investigation division (CI) has continued to see a tremendous increase in a variety of Economic Impact Payment scams and other financial schemes. CI continues to work with its law enforcement partners to put a stop to these schemes and bring criminals to justice.
Taxpayers can report COVID-19 scams to the National Center for Disaster Fraud. Taxpayers can also report fraud or theft of their Economic Impact Payments to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Unsolicited (phishing) e-mails that appear to be from the IRS should be forwarded to email@example.com.
For the most up-to-date information about the tax filing deadline and IRS impersonation scams, taxpayers can visit IRS.gov.