The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns all taxpayers of scams that could mean serious trouble for those involved. This week, the IRS released their annual “dirty dozen” list of tax scams in an attempt to make sure that taxpayers have the correct and appropriate information when filing as April 17th. approaches.
The following scams are the 2018 “dirty dozen”:
Phishing: Taxpayers should be alert to potential fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information.
Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers.
Identity Theft: Taxpayers should be alert to tactics aimed at stealing their identities, not just during the tax filing season, but all year long.
Return Preparer Fraud: Be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service.
Fake Charities: Groups masquerading as charitable organizations solicit donations from unsuspecting contributors.
Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers should take note of anyone promising inflated tax refunds.
Excessive Claims for Business Credits: Avoid improperly claiming the fuel tax credit, a tax benefit generally not available to most taxpayers.
Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns: Taxpayers should avoid the temptation to falsely inflate deductions or expenses on their tax returns to pay less than what they owe or potentially receive larger refunds.
Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: Con artists may convince unsuspecting taxpayers to invent income to erroneously qualify for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Frivolous Tax Arguments: Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims about the legality of paying taxes despite being repeatedly thrown out in court.
Abusive Tax Shelters: Abusive tax structures are sometimes used to avoid paying taxes. The IRS is committed to stopping complex tax avoidance schemes and the people who create and sell them.
Offshore Tax Avoidance: Successful enforcement actions against offshore cheating have shown the consequences of hiding money offshore.