The Internal Revenue Service issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” ranking 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 careful and avoid falling into a trap with the Dirty Dozen,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “Scam artists will tempt people in-person, on-line and by e-mail with misleading promises about lost refunds and free money. Don’t be fooled by these scams.”
Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division works closely with the Department of Justice to shutdown scams and prosecute the criminals behind them.
The following is the Dirty Dozen tax scams for 2012:
- Identity Theft
- Return Preparer Fraud
- Hiding Income Offshore
- “Free Money” from the IRS & Tax Scams Involving Social Security
- False/Inflated Income and Expenses
- False Form 1099 Refund Claims
- Frivolous Arguments
- Falsely Claiming Zero Wages
- Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions
- Disguised Corporate Ownership
- Misuse of Trusts
More information on these Tax Scams is available at www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254383,00.html.