Rhode Island Department of Revenue Division of Taxation
ADV 2017-6 ADVISORY FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS
TAX ADMINISTRATION AUGUST 29, 2017
Taxpayers and businesses warned about scam in Rhode Island
Caller claims to be from Rhode Island Division of Taxation, seeks to access taxpayer’s home
PROVIDENCE, R.I. –The Rhode Island Tax Administrator today urged taxpayers, businesses, and tax professionals to be on guard against a scam from someone claiming to be from the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.
In the scam, which the Division learned of late last week, the caller left a voicemail message for a taxpayer. In that message, the caller asserted that the Rhode Island Division of Taxation had received several complaints that the taxpayer was operating a small business out of his home. As a result, the caller claimed, the Division would be sending an agent to the taxpayer’s home to conduct an audit and full investigation.
“We do not conduct audits or investigations in this manner,” said Rhode Island Tax Administrator Neena S. Savage. “Taxpayers – including individuals and businesses – need to be aware that this sort of phone call is a scam. The caller, under false pretenses, probably wants to gain access to your home or your office to obtain personal information, money, or both,” Savage said.
Similar scams have been reported this summer by the Internal Revenue Service, as well as by the state tax agencies in Alabama, Michigan, and Washington.
“If you receive this sort of call, don’t provide any personal information. Write down the caller’s name and contact information. Then hang up and contact law enforcement as well as the appropriate tax agency to let them know what happened,” Savage said. “If you receive this sort of call through a recorded message – either the call itself is a pre-recorded message, or a message is left on your voicemail – do not respond to it,” she said.
POINTS TO CONSIDER
The Tax Administrator asks individuals and businesses to keep the following points in mind:
“Remember: The Rhode Island Division of Taxation will never demand immediate payment, will never threaten you, and will always make first contact with a taxpayer by U.S. mail, never by phone, email or social media. And if a person comes to your place of business or your home claiming to be from the Division of Taxation and demanding an immediate payment, do not pay them,” she said. “That person is an imposter.” You can report them to one of the numbers below.
For more information
The Rhode Island Division of Taxation office is located at One Capitol Hill in Providence, R.I., diagonally across from the Smith Street entrance to the State House, and is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. business days. For more information, contact the Division of Taxation at (401) 574‐8829.