Can The IRS Call Me? Technically, Yes, But It’s Rare.
The IRS can call you. But most people never get a call from the IRS.
Calls from the IRS are rare
There are a couple reasons why:
- The IRS mainly sends notices because it doesn’t have the personnel to call taxpayers.
- The IRS wants to combat the many IRS impersonation phone scams.
The IRS will call you directly in only two instances:
- You owe large amounts of back taxes (usually $100,000 or more).
- You’re subject to a field audit.
In both of these cases, you’ll probably already know about the issue and the call before your phone ever rings. The IRS sends notices first, followed by a scheduled visit or call.
If you owe back taxes
The IRS will ask you to pay several times by mail before making any phone contact. The IRS does use third-party debt collectors for people who owe back taxes, but the IRS will always send a letter first letting you know about the collection agency that will call to collect your tax debt.
If you’re under an IRS field audit
These audits are usually limited to businesses and high-wealth people, and the IRS would formally announce the audit by mail, with a request for information. These days, field audits are rare – and taxpayers almost always get a letter about the audit in advance.
Beware IRS impersonators
IRS impersonator calls can be unsettling, because the caller demands payment and threatens legal and criminal consequences. In these instances, rest assured that the call is fake, because you’ll always get an IRS notice in advance.
The answer here: Just hang up. An IRS impersonator is trying to scam you out of your money.
Yes, the IRS can call you – but it will not be a surprise
If you owe a lot of taxes or you’re under a field audit, you will have received a notice before the IRS calls.
If the IRS has called you in one of those situations, you’ll need to get back into compliance. Your tax pro can get to the bottom of your issue and deal with the IRS for you. Learn more about H&R Block’s Tax Audit & Notice Services.
Get help from an expert
Your local H&R Block tax pro can look into your issue and deal with the IRS for you.
Learn what the IRS is looking for during an audit, the steps you should take to prepare for an IRS audit, and when it's best to get expert help.
Learn about the different options when you can't pay or still owe money from a past return from the tax experts at H&R Block.
Learn the three main benefits of engaging a power of attorney to research your IRS account and resolve your tax problems. Get the facts from the experts at H&R Block.
The IRS can only take your paycheck if you have an overdue tax balance and the IRS has sent you a series of notices asking you to pay. Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.
Get the facts from H&R Block about IRS payment options when you can't pay your tax bill, including short-term extensions, monthly payment plans, and more.
Get the facts about IRS audits. Learn more about the types of IRS audits and the process of being audited from the tax experts at H&R Block.
Learn what to do when you can’t pay your taxes – to avoid these 10 consequences of tax debt. Get the facts from the tax experts at H&R Block.