Maryland residents should be on the lookout for scam phone calls threatening arrest for phony unpaid taxes. This is what the Maryland Comptroller’s Office is warning after receiving reports that Maryland residents have been receiving suspicious threatening phone calls. Residents should be aware that neither the IRS nor the State of Maryland attempts to collect taxes by telephone.

Tax scam threatens jail

The scam calls are looking for money and personal information. The caller alleges to be from the Comptroller’s Office and threatens to arrest the resident for not paying a tax bill. This is not the first time this scam has circulated; this past spring, fraudulent callers claimed to be IRS agents who audited the residents they were calling and demanded payment for additional taxes owed in order to avoid being arrested.

Says State Comptroller Peter Franchot, “These crooks are trying to scare you by taking your money and stealing your identity. They are shameless, unscrupulous predators trying to destroy your financial sanctity.”

How to spot tax scams

The Maryland Comptroller has a list of actions that it may take to enforce missed tax payments and they do not generally include phone calls. The state may invoke a license or registration nonrenewal, a lien on your salary, a tax lien on your home, and even publicly publishing a list of debtors who owe large amounts in back taxes. One of the state’s options is to refer cases to an external collection agency. Anyone contacted by someone attempting to collect Maryland taxes should make sure the caller is approved by the state.

What you should do if you receive a suspicious tax phone call

If you receive a suspected tax scam call, never provide any personal information. Instead, call the Maryland Comptroller at 1-800-MD-TAXES to report it.

For tax and other business questions in Maryland, contact the Baltimore tax lawyers at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg. We are committed to providing reliable tax advice to help you achieve your best results.