Information is one
of the most effective ways to combat tax scams. If taxpayers know the methods
tax scammers use to operate, they are less likely to be victimized. In an
effort to spread awareness about tax scams, the IRS issues the “Dirty Dozen”
tax scams list every year. For 2015, the top 5 tax scams that taxpayers should
be aware of are:
1. Phone Scams
The IRS phone scams remains an ongoing
threat to taxpayers. This has quickly became one of the biggest tax scams in
the country. Scammers make unsolicited phone calls to taxpayers, demanding
payment of back taxes. They use intimidation such as threatening police action,
deportation, license revocation, etc. to get taxpayers to transfer them money that
they claim is owed for back taxes.
use fake webpages and websites to steal taxpayers’ information. They lead
people to fake sites by sending unsolicited emails pretending to be from the
IRS, a bank or some other well-known institution. It’s important to remember
that the IRS sends notices in the mail about tax payments, refunds, etc., not
theft is one of the biggest tax scams in the country. Scammers send out scam
emails, text messages, social media messages, and make phone calls to people to
steal their personal and tax information. Taxpayers should not share their
personal information on any platform without confirming the other person’s
Return Preparer Fraud
return preparers falsify information on their clients’ tax return to pocket
huge refunds. Taxpayers should check the information on their return before
filing, get their refund to their bank account or their home residence (and not
the return preparer’s), and check the Personal Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
of the tax preparer.
Offshore Tax Avoidance
income overseas to avoid paying taxes in the U.S. is a criminal offense.
Taxpayers that have hidden income and assets overseas can gain back compliance by
using the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP).
with these, the other tax scams that taxpayers should protect themselves against
are: inflated refund claims, fake charities, hiding income using fake
documents, abusive tax shelters, falsifying income to claim credits, excessive
claims for fuel tax credits, and frivolous arguments.