Make us your home page
Instagram

IRS releases annual "Dirty Dozen" tax scams

Baltimore Sun

Each year, the Internal Revenue Service puts out a list of the top 12 tax scams to avoid — as victim or perpetrator. This year's list:

Identity theft: The IRS says it has a comprehensive strategy targeting ID theft. The agency also has increased internal reviews "to spot false tax returns before tax refunds are issued and is working to help victims of identity theft refund schemes."

• Phishing: With this tactic, a thief sends an email or sets up a fake website with the hope of luring consumers into giving up some of their personal information. The IRS doesn't send you an email out of the blue asking for information. And if you get such an email, you should forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

• Return preparer fraud: Shady preparers have taken clients' refunds, overcharged customers and have promised fat refunds to gain new clients. If you don't deserve a fat refund, though, you can end up getting burned.

• Hiding income offshore.

• "Free money" from the IRS and tax scams involving Social Security: The IRS says this scam has been cropping up in community churches. The scammers convince the elderly and those with low income that they are entitled to money from the IRS and Social Security. The con artists collect a fee, but the filer's claims are rejected.

• False/inflated income and expenses.

• False Form 1099 refund claims: This involves creating a false federal income tax form to claim tax breaks.

• Frivolous arguments: One of them is that the 16th Amendment, which permits tax collections, wasn't ever ratified, so you don't have to pay taxes. Not true, as some jailed celebrities have found out.

• Falsely claiming zero wages.

Abuse of charitable organizations and deductions.

• Disguised corporate ownership: Some people hide the true ownership of a business so they can avoid taxes.

• Misuse of trusts: You can't always use a trust to shelter assets from taxes.

IRS releases annual "Dirty Dozen" tax scams 02/21/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: For Class of 2016, college debt loads favor Florida graduates

    Banking

    Florida college graduates saddled with student debt: Take heart. The average debt Class of 2016 Florida grads must bear is less than students in most states.

    University of South Florida undergraduates gather at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa for last fall's commencement ceremony. A new survey finds their average student debt upon graduating was $22,276. Statewide, 2016 Florida grads ranked a relatively unencumbered 45th among states, averaging $24,461 in student debt. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. After Hurricane Irma, many ask: How safe are shelters?

    News

    NAPLES — Residents of the Naples Estates mobile home park beamed and cheered when President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott strolled amid piles of shredded aluminum three days after Hurricane Irma to buck up residents and hail the work of emergency responders. But almost nobody had anything good to say about …

    The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area opened its doors to anyone seeking temporary shelter during Hurricane Irma. Evacuees were housed in the Istaba multipurpose building and was quickly at capacity housing over 500 people. [Saturday, September 9, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. When elders are in peril, who do you call — 911 or Rick Scott's cell?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Twelve hours after Irma blasted through South Florida, conditions at Larkin Community Hospital in Hollywood were miserable.

    Police surround the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power, on Sept. 13 in Hollywood. So far, nine deaths have been blamed on the incedent. [John McCall | South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
  4. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.