Is that the IRS knocking on my door?

It seems like every day there is a new phone scam or in-person scam taking place across the country. Because of this the Internal Revenue Service has added information on their website to help taxpayers determine if the person visiting their home or place of business claiming to be from the IRS is legitimate or an imposter. The IRS would like taxpayers to know that their employees do make official, sometimes unannounced, visits to taxpayers as a part of their casework.

Alicia Sisk-Morris, CPA, ME | Photo: Cat Ford-Coates
Studio 828

If an IRS representative visits you, he or she will always provide two forms of official credentials called a pocket commission and an HSPD-12 card. The HSPD-12 is a government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification for Federal employees and contractors. You should request to see these credentials before meeting with the individual.

Keep in mind the IRS representative does not:

1) Call to demand immediate payment using a particular payment method. The IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.

2) Demand you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3) Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement to have you arrested.

4) The IRS cannot revoke your driver’s license, business license or immigration status.

As a general rule, the IRS will first send you several letters (called notices) by mail alerting the taxpayer that they are conducting an audit or inquiry.

For a comprehensive list of recent tax scams and consumer, alerts visit their website

To report a phone scam, you can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. To report an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS you can forward their information to the IRS at

Alicia Sisk-Morris is a CPA with over 20 years’ experience in Asheville and Weaverville. Her firm services individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit clients that range from solo-entrepreneurs to artists, alternative and traditional medical professionals, construction firms, architects, engineers, real estate professionals, schools, business executives, and start-ups. Alicia is an instructor for AB Tech College, Small Business Administration workshops, and the Western Women’s Business Center, and a public speaker and trainer. Learn more at:

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker