A reader is both scared and suspicious after receiving an email.

Question: I got an email from the IRS saying I owe $29.12. The subject of the email was “IRS CP-2000,” and when I searched that online, I saw that this is a real thing. But it just looks so suspicious. It says I have 30 days to pay this amount or I could get audited or even arrested. So I need some help fast! It’s not a huge amount of money, but still, it’s MY money.

If Trump wins, no free college. In that case, I might wait longer to save up more money. So my question is: Should I wait until summer to sign up?

— Claire in Virginia

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Howard Dvorkin CPA answers…

It’s that time of year, when the weather turns and the IRS scams blossom. The most successful scammers add just a touch of truth to their lies — and this particular one is repeated each year because it’s based on a real IRS letter.

To keep it from getting complicated, the easiest way to explain it is in this short video…

Just to stress what’s at the end of the video: If you receive a suspicious IRS letter, go to the U.S. Treasury’s scam alert webpage to learn more. You can also call 800-366-4484 to report it. If you’re concerned about these scams in general, and about identity theft in particular, I suggest you read Debt.com’s report on Identity Theft Basics.

Do you owe a lot to the IRS and fear you won’t get caught up? Take a look at our solutions.

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About the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

I’m a certified public accountant who has authored two books on getting out of debt, Credit Hell and Power Up, and I am one of the personal finance experts for Debt.com. I have focused my professional endeavors in the consumer finance, technology, media and real estate industries creating not only Debt.com, but also Financial Apps and Start Fresh Today, among others. My personal finance advice has been included in countless articles, and has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and Entrepreneur as well as virtually every national and local newspaper in the country. Everyone should have a reason for living that’s bigger than themselves, and besides my family, mine is this: Teaching Americans how to live happily within their means. To me, money is not the root of all evil. Poor money management is. Money cannot buy happiness, but going into debt always buys misery. That’s why I launched Debt.com. I’m glad you’re here.

Published by Debt.com, LLC