I recently wrote a blog post about the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). The OPR is in charge, in part, of overseeing individuals that practice before the IRS to ensure that those individuals adhere to professional standards and follow the law.
I noted that because of the substantial increase in internet tax scams and unethical practices, the OPR has expanded its oversight of practitioners and has increased its enforcement practices which has led to the disbarment of 8 practitioners to date in 2013. I also discussed my contact with the IRS Director of Practice regarding improper conduct of other practitioners and stated my belief that our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.
Our website also specifically addresses tax scams and warns you to not respond to unsolicited telephone calls. On November 6, 2013, I spoke with one of our clients who received a voicemail message from a man who asked for contact regarding her IRS problem and left a local telephone number. My client asked me to call this number, fearing that it was from the IRS. I immediately expressed doubt that the telephone call was from the IRS because I had spoken with the IRS Revenue Officer assigned to her case that morning. I called the local telephone number and it was a fake number. My client subsequently provided the telephone number listed on her caller ID and identified it as 347-559-7963. I subsequently called that telephone number and the person I spoke with identified the business as “Investigation Bureau of IRS.” I identified myself as an attorney calling on behalf of a client and asked what the “Investigation Bureau of IRS” does. The caller responded with “we f*ck your momma, b*tch” and hung up. Clearly the “Investigation Bureau of IRS” is not affiliated with the IRS and falls squarely into the tax scam category.
Although I intend to bring this matter to the attention of OPR Director Karen Hawkins, I urge all taxpayers to be vigilant against these tax scams and, especially, to not take any telephone calls from 347-559-7963.
To avoid trouble, do NOT respond to unsolicited telephone calls of anyone pertaining to your IRS problems. Call the numbers listed on the IRS website or call an attorney to best represent you.