We do not believe that the primary reason for the increase in expatriations is for political purposes or for individuals to reduce taxes. Instead, we believe that there are likely three principal reasons for the recent increases in the number of expatriations:
- Increased awareness of the obligation to file U.S. tax returns by U.S. citizens and U.S. tax residents living outside the U.S.;
- The ever-increasing burden of complying with U.S. tax laws; and
- The fear generated by the potentially bankrupting penalties for failure to file U.S. tax returns when an individual holds substantial non-U.S. assets.The increase in expatriations may also be partly due to a 2008 change in the expatriation rules.
Coralville police say they’re receiving more reports of a telephone tax scam. CBS 2 News first told you about the scam last month. The IRS says the scam targets taxpayers, especially recent immigrants. A caller claims to be an IRS agent and says the victim owes money. The victim is told to repay the money using a preloaded debit card or a wire transfer. If the victim refuses, the caller threatens to arrest or deport them or suspend his or her drivers license. The scammer uses a fake name and fake IRS badge number. The caller has found a way to make caller IDs show the number as the IRS toll-free line. To appear more legitimate, the scammer may also send a fake email or recite part of the victim’s social security number. After threatening the victim, the caller may hang up. A second scammer may later call the victim, pretending to be from the local police department or DMV.
- 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 the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration 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.