McMansion mortgage deduction under fire
Tax help for fire's aftermath

Tell the IRS what you think of it

The agency probably already knows, but you still can tell it just how much you love or hate it.

You can do so directly. Or you can filter your comments through the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (my personal recommendation, since I'm a member of TAP).

Fishing_lure But don't, however tempting it might be, take part in a "survey opportunity" that shows up in your e-mail box. This is just the latest phishing attempt by an identity thief to get your personal and financial data.

The IRS says it has been hearing from folks who've received an e-mail purporting to come from the agency. The fake message from a scam artist says you can get $80 by filling out an online customer satisfaction survey.

There are references to the IRS in the "from" and "subject" lines of the e-mail. The link to the survey and a copyright statement at the bottom of the message also reference the IRS. And the survey form features the IRS logo.

The "survey" asks standard customer satisfaction survey questions, but also wants the name and phone number of the participant and also asks for credit card information. Once the fraudsters have a name and phone number, they will presumably call the participant and attempt to retrieve other financial information.

As we've said many times (most recently back in July), the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers through e-mail.

If you get this e-mail, in addition to ignoring it, forward the scam message to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. The agency can use it to help track down, stop and perhaps prosecute the criminal trying to steal your identity.

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