MI Treasury Warns of Fake Past-Due Tax Collection Scam Circulating

If you owe past-due taxes to the State of Michigan, that’s one thing. You also, however have rights, and the Michigan Department of Treasury wants you to know that they’ve been made aware of an aggressive scam making the rounds through the U.S. Postal Service and how you should deal with it if you are approached.

In the scheme, taxpayers receive a letter about an overdue tax bill, asking individuals to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve an outstanding state tax debt. The letter aggressively threatens to seize a taxpayer’s assets ― including property and Social Security benefits ― if the debt is not settled.

Deputy State Treasurer Ann Good, who oversees Treasury’s Financial and Administrative Services programs, cautions, “This is a tricky scam that has been reported throughout the state,” and adds, “Taxpayers have rights. If you have questions about an outstanding state tax debt, please contact us through a verified number so we can talk about options.”

The piece of correspondence appears credible to the taxpayer because it uses specific personal facts that have been pulled directly from publicly available information. The scammer’s letter attempts to lure the taxpayer into a situation where they could make a payment to a criminal.

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The State Treasury Department corresponds with taxpayers through official letters sent through the U.S. Postal Service, providing several options to resolve an outstanding debt and information outlining taxpayer rights, not with threats of asset seizures.

Treasury officials say that taxpayers who do receive a letter from a scammer or have questions about any of their state debts should call Treasury’s Collections Service Center at 517-636-5265. A customer service representative can log the scam, verify outstanding state debts and provide flexible payment options to you.

To learn more about Michigan’s taxes and the collections process, you can visit online at:  http://www.michigan.gov/taxes or follow the state Treasury Department on Twitter at @MITreasury.