WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams, reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.
The Dirty Dozen listing, compiled by the IRS each year, lists a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter at any point during the year. But many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns.
“Taxpayers should be on the lookout for tax scams using the IRS name,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “These schemes jump every year at tax time. Scams can be sophisticated and take many different forms. We urge people to protect themselves and use caution when viewing e-mails, receiving telephone calls or getting advice on tax issues.”
Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to shutdown scams and prosecute the criminals behind them.
The following are the Dirty Dozen tax scams for 2014:
- Identity Theft
- Pervasive Telephone Scams
- False Promises of “Free Money” from Inflated Refunds
- Return Preparer Fraud
- Hiding Income Offshore
- Impersonation of Charitable Organizations
- False Income, Expenses or Exemptions
- Frivolous Arguments
- Falsely Claiming Zero Wages or Using False Form 1099
- Abusive Tax Structures
- Misuse of Trusts