IRS wants to remind taxpayers to remain vigilant about these aggressive tax scams that tend to peak during tax time, but evolve throughout the year.
- Offshore tax cheating: Taxpayers are best served by coming in voluntarily and getting their taxes and filing requirements in order. The information obtained from FATCA, the network of intergovernmental agreements between the U.S. and partner jurisdictions, automatic third-party account reporting makes it less likely that offshore financial accounts will go unnoticed by the IRS.
- Abusive tax shelters: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” Taxpayers ought to seek professional advice from the IRS or a specialized tax professional before they subscribe to any scheme that offers tax exemption from their obligation as U.S. citizens to pay taxes. .
- Frivolous tax arguments: Frivolous tax arguments in an effort to avoid paying tax are discouraged by the IRS.
- Falsified income: Inventing income to erroneously qualify for tax credits ought to be avoided. Filing the most accurate tax return is encouraged by the IRS.
- Falsely padding deductions: Taxpayers ought to stay away from falsely inflating deductions or expenses on their returns in order to pay less of what they owe or receive a larger refund.
- Improper claims for business credits: Improper claims involve failures to participate in or substantiate qualified research activities and, or satisfy the requirements related to qualified research expenses.
- Falsely inflated refunds: Taxpayers ought to be on the alert for anyone that promises inflated tax refunds, asks the taxpayer to sign a blank return, promises a big refund before looking at their records, or charges fees based on a percentage of the refund.
- Fake charities: There are groups that masquerade as charitable organizations to attract donations from contributing Taxpayers by using charities with names similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. .
- Tax Return Preparer Fraud: Return preparer fraud involves the preparation and filing of false income tax returns by preparers who claim inflated personal or business expenses, false deductions, unallowable credits or excessive exemptions on the tax returns prepared for the taxpayer.
- Identity Theft: Criminals continue to file fraudulent tax returns using another taxpayer’s Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in order to claim a refund.
- Phone Scams: Criminals continue to impersonate IRS agents and threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation.
- Phishing Schemes: Fake emails or fake websites continue to steal taxpayer’s personal information. Criminals have been recently stealing taxpayer’s data from tax professionals and filing fraudulent tax returns.
Don’t be a victim of your own making. Taxpayers are responsible for all the information included in your tax return. Taxpayers ought to check the tax preparer’s qualifications and history, review the tax return before signing, and never sign a blank tax return .