The Internal Revenue Service just released its annual list of the dozen most popular tax scams so taxpayers can better protect themselves.
The list — which the IRS calls “The Dirty Dozen” — is intended to help taxpayers avoid being taken advantage of during tax season.
Agency leader Steven Miller said, “The Dirty Dozen list shows that scams come in many forms during filing season. Don’t let a scam artist steal from you or talk you into doing something you will regret later.”
The Dirty Dozen:
- Identity Theft: Scammers use another’s info to file false returns.
- Phishing: Using tax forms to steal another person’s personal information.
- Return Preparer Fraud: Don’t let your preparer make false claims in your name.
- Hiding Income Offshore: It’s illegal to use foreign accounts to dodge taxes.
- “Free Money” Scams: Preparers convince those who don’t need to file to do so to claim refunds.
- Impersonation of a Charitable Organization: Scammers pose as charities to gather falsely deductible contributions.
- False/Inflated Income and Expenses: Increasing or bumping up the amount of tax credits due.
- False Form 1099 Claims: Filing of false reports over the year to get an unearned return.
- Frivolous Arguments: Adherents make wildly unlikely claims to avoid taxes.
- Falsely Claiming Zero Wages: Filing an altered or false income report to eliminate income.
- Disguised Corporate Ownership: Manufacturing false deductions or confusing ownership to avoid taxes.
- Misuse of Trusts: Creating trusts strictly for the purpose of evading taxes.