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Maryland comptroller warns of estate tax scheme

Eileen Ambrose

2:51 PM EST, January 30, 2013

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Personal representatives of estates watch out!

The Maryland comptroller is warning that a business calling itself IRFS in Annapolis is claiming to be collecting debts on behalf of the state. The business is sending out notices to personal representatives, saying the estate is delinquent on taxes.

The comptroller said the business asks for unpaid taxes and interest, plus it sends a payment coupon for the alleged tax liability. Not only that, the notice tells representatives to take out a loan to pay off the debt or otherwise face a lien on the bank account or a garnishment of wages. (Whose wages are they talking about garnishing, the deceased’s?)

A lawyer representing an estate tipped off the comptroller about the scheme.

In a statement, Comptroller Peter Franchot said: “This scam is an example of unscrupulous individuals preying on people when they are most vulnerable, after the death of a loved one.  The Comptroller’s Office does not use outside collections agencies for settling estate tax liabilities.”

Franchot said if you get a notice, contact his office at 800-md-taxes or taxhelp@comp.state.md.us