IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams
IR-2014-81, Aug. 13, 2014
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration continue to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.
Based on the 90,000 complaints that TIGTA has received through its telephone hotline, to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams.
"There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”
Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:
- Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
- Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
- Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.
Potential phone scam victims may be told that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.
Other characteristics of these scams include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
- Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
- If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484.
- If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to
For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.
More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.
You can reblog the IRS tax scam alert via Tumblr.
TBI LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING
‘IT HAS TO STOP’ HOPES TO EDUCATE, INSPIRE ACTION IN TENNESSEE
NASHVILLE – Today, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation officially launched a new outreach to raise awareness of human trafficking in Tennessee.
The campaign, titled “IT Has To Stop,” hopes to increase awareness of human trafficking in Tennessee and beyond. The centerpiece of the campaign, ITHasToStop.com, features information, current research and statistics, video, important contacts, and links for visitors to join nonprofits and other groups in the efforts to curb trafficking in Tennessee. Visitors can also connect with the campaign on designated Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, it’s unacceptable, and it’s a crime in Tennessee,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “We hope TBI’s new public awareness campaign sheds some much-needed light on the issue, so we can increase the number of people who insist it has to stop in our state and beyond.”
Research by The Polaris Project, a national leader in the fight against human trafficking, indicates it to be one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimate the number of children bought and sold in the country for the purpose of sexual exploitation to number at least 100,000. The average age of a trafficking victim is 13.
“Tennessee has recently been recognized for great strides in enacting laws to protect survivors of trafficking,” said Gwyn. “We also have trusted nonprofits on the frontlines of this troubling fight. Now, we hope this new effort is our state’s next step to rally public support and increase awareness of this kind of crime and the way out for those trapped.”
The site is available for review at www.ITHasToStop.com.
Utilities Agree to Feasibility Study of Possible Merger
Duck River Electric Membership Corp. (DREMC), headquartered in Shelbyville, TN., and Mount Pleasant Power System (MPPS), serving Mount Pleasant, have agreed to begin the feasibility study of a possible merger.
In a joint announcement, representatives of each utility said this is a preliminary step with no commitment made by either party explore what is best for the systems and their consumers.
DREMC serves 71,000 members in 16 counties of southern Middle Tennessee. Mount Pleasant Power System (MPPS) serves 3,800 cusotmers in the municipality of Mount Pleasant and rural parts of Maury and Lawrence counties.
The DREMC Board of Directors on Aug. 13th voted unanimously to undertake the study, which will focus on asset value, rates, system, and administrative integration, workforce retention and legal/regulatory issues.
DREMC is a non-profit, member-owned cooperative utility governed by a board of directors elected by those that receive and use the power. Like MPPS, the co-op purchases wholesale electricity from the TN Valley Authority.
Derek Church, GM of MPPS, said his board also voted unanimously on Aug. 13th to participate in the study.
State of Tennessee Revenue report July 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee revenue collections recorded positive growth in July, but still came in less than the state budgeted. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin today announced a net positive growth of 2.39 % over July collections of one year ago. Overall July revenues were $941.8 million, which is $3.2 million less than budgeted.
“We've recorded positive sales tax collection growth every month in this fiscal year, but the economic recovery is slow,” Martin said. “We’ll begin to close out the fiscal year next month, when we report sales tax collections for August, which will reflect spending that occurred in July.
“Although July is a relatively small month for corporate taxes, we saw slight growth over prior year collections. We’ll continue to closely examine corporate collections as we transition into a new fiscal year.”
On an accrual basis, July is the twelfth month in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $1.2 million, and the four other funds were under collected by $4.4 million.
Sales tax collections were $1.3 million more than the estimate for July. The July growth rate was 3.17%. For twelve months revenues are under collected by $14.2 million. The year-to-date growth rate for twelve months was positive 3.53%.
Franchise and excise taxes combined were $2.2 million below the budgeted estimate of $70.7 million. The growth rate for July was positive 2.92%. For twelve months revenues are under collected by $280.5 million and the year-to-date growth rate was negative 8.42%.
Inheritance and estate tax collections were $2.0 million above the July estimate. For twelve months collections are $21.9 million above the budgeted estimate.
Privilege tax collections were $0.7 million below the July budgeted estimate. For twelve months collections are $23.7 million less than the budgeted estimate, and the year-to date growth rate was positive 1.64%.
Business tax collections were $0.6 million less than the July estimate. Year-to-date collections for twelve months are $10.8 million below the budgeted estimate.
Tobacco tax collections were $0.6 million above the budgeted estimate of $24.3 million. For twelve months revenues are under collected by $12.7 million.
Gasoline and motor fuel tax collections for July were over collected by $0.1 million. For twelve months revenues are over collected by $4.9 million, and the growth rate is positive 0.78%.
All other taxes for July were under collected by a net of $3.7 million.
Year-to-date collections for twelve months were $293.1 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $302.4 million and the four other funds were over collected by $9.3 million.
The budgeted revenue estimates for 2013-2014 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of December 19th, 2012 and adopted by the first session of the 108th General Assembly in April 2013. They are available on the state’s website at http://www.tn.gov/finance/bud/Revenues.shtml.
The Funding Board met on December 10, 2013 to hear updated revenue projections from the state’s various economists. The board met again on December 17 and adopted revised revenue ranges for 2013-2014. The revised ranges assume an under collection from the July 2013 budgeted estimate in the amount of $111.2 million to $134.5 million in total taxes and in the amount of $126.1 million to $145.6 million in general fund taxes for the current fiscal year.
Year-to-date collections for 2013-2014 are subject to final accrual adjustments.
TENNESSEE'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR JUNE INCREASED TO 7.1%
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for July was 7.1 percent, five tenths of one percentage point higher than the 6.6 June revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for July was 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 percent in June.
- Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 8.4 percent to 7.1 percent while the national rate declined from 7.3 percent to 6.2 percent.
- Total nonfarm employment increased 3,300 jobs from June to July. The largest increases occurred in mining/logging/construction, financial activities, and retail trade.
- Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 51,900 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.
Lewisburg Police Chief Named TACP President
Forbis First Lewisburg Police Chief to Hold Post
Lewisburg Police Chief Chuck Forbis was sworn in as President of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP) during the association’s annual conference on August 8, 2014 in Chattanooga to become the first Lewisburg Police Chief to hold this position.
The TACP is an association that brings the state’s chiefs of police together to discuss best practices, a legislative agenda for law enforcement in Tennessee and to also provide training for all chiefs of police in the state. Forbis has served as 2nd Vice President and was named 1st Vice President at last year’s conference before being elected to take the presidency of the association for a one-year term 2014-2015.
“It is an honor to serve this association to represent all of the police chiefs in Tennessee and to be the first from Lewisburg,” said Chief Forbis. “Hopefully, this will begin a long line of Lewisburg Police Chiefs to hold this position in the future.”
Forbis will now direct the association that meets six times annually and offers all the state’s chiefs of police a valuable resource to better perform their duties. He expects to continue serving the association following his term as president by first serving on its board of directors and then a post as one of the association’s committee chairs.
Forbis was joined at the annual TACP conference to receive this honor by Lewisburg City Manager Randall Dunn, wife Rhonda and Councilman Steve Thomas.
“First of all, I am happy for Chief Forbis and to recognize him for this honor,” said City Manager Dunn. “When you realize that most of the police chiefs that have been president of this association have come from metro areas of the state, you see how great an honor this is. Lewisburg is fortunate to have someone with Chief Forbis’ qualifications serving as our Chief of Police.”
“Chief Forbis has brought a new degree of professionalism and community service to our department,” said Councilman Steve Thomas. “It is honor for the whole city for him to be recognized by his peers.”
Lewisburg Police Department Investigating Burglaries in Town August 2014
The Lewisburg Police Department is currently investigating the following burglaries and is asking for the public's assistance:
8/11/14 the St. John Catholic Church located at 1061 South Ellington Parkway was burglarized. A safe in the church was opened and money was taken.
8/11/14 the Garden Spot located at 1240 South Ellington Parkway was burglarized and $10.00 in change was taken.
8/14/14 the New Life Family Tabernacle Church located at 591 Fox lane was burglarized and several items were stolen and the church was ransacked.
8/14/14 someone used a large rock to smash the front window of the Family Dollar store located at 627 2nd Ave. North. It has not yet been determined if items were taken from inside the store.
Persons with information relating to these crimes or any other criminal activity are asked to contact the Lewisburg Police department at 931-359-4044 or Crimestoppers at 931-359-4867.
City Of Lewisburg Recieves Grant Money To Repair Pool At Recreation Center
NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau today announced more than $6.6 million to fund local parks and recreation projects across Tennessee.
“Maintaining and improving our parks and recreation areas helps provide healthy ways for Tennesseans to get out and enjoy their neighborhoods and communities,” Haslam said. “We want to continue to make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality.”
The Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant program was established by the General Assembly in 1991 to provide local governments with funds to purchase land for parks, natural areas, greenways and recreational facilities. The funds also may be used for development of trails and projects in parks, natural areas and greenways. All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient.
Grant recipients were selected through a scoring process with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need. To learn more about the LPRF grant program and other recreation or conservation-based grant programs available in the future, please visit www.tn.gov/environment/recreation/grants.shtml.
The City of Lewisburg has been awarded $50,000 to renovate the outdoor concrete public pool at the Lewisburg Recreation Center. This grant will pay to remove the existing PVC membrane, prepare and replace with new PVC membrane system.