The Internal Revenue Service has released its annual list of common tax scams. Known as the "Dirty Dozen," all scams are carried out throughout the year, but are carried out more frequently during tax season.
"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," said said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller.
If you suspect you are victim of any of the scams listed below, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. For a full description of the scams listed below, head to the IRS's website.
- Identity Theft: Occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number (SSN) or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
- Phishing: Typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information.
- Return Preparer Fraud: Occurs when the person preparing a return, steals the taxpayers' information.
- Hiding Income Offshore: Hiding income in offshore banks to avoid reporting earnings.
- “Free Money” from the IRS & Tax Scams Involving Social Security: Flyers and advertisements for free money from the IRS, suggesting that the taxpayer can file a tax return with little or no documentation.
Impersonation of Charitable Organizations: Impersonating charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers.
False/Inflated Income and Expenses: Including income that was never earned, either as wages or as self-employment income in order to maximize refundable credits.
False Form 1099 Refund Claims: filing a fake information return, such as a Form 1099 Original Issue Discount (OID), to justify a false refund claim on a corresponding tax return.
Frivolous Arguments: Encouraging taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims to avoid paying the taxes they owe.
- Falsely Claiming Zero Wages: Filing a phony information return is an illegal way to lower the amount of taxes an individual owes.
- Disguised Corporate Ownership: Using employer identification numbers and form corporations that obscure the true ownership of a business.
- Misuse of Trusts: Transferring assets into trusts to reduce income subject to tax.