IRS 2011 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams
We hate falling for scams and don’t they seem to abound today. Yesterday, they were stealing your email address from your bank and today they want you to pay them to help you land in jail or lose your identity and money. Here is the IRS list of the “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams” for 2011.
Don’t fall victim to tax scams. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you think you’re being scammed, you can report suspected tax fraud activity by sending completed Form 3949-A, Information Referral, to Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888. You can download the form or call 1-800-829-3676 to order by mail.
Some of the common scams the IRS sees include:
IR-2008-41, Phishing Scams, Frivolous Arguments Top the 2008 “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams
IR-2007-61, IRS Identifies 40 Frivolous Positions for Taxpayers to Avoid
- IR-2007-37, Fraudulent Telephone Tax Refunds, Abusive Roth IRAs Top Off 2007 “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams
- IR-2006-25 , IRS Announces “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2006
- Employment Tax Schemes (IR-2004-47)
Offering to Help Obtain Tax Benefits — targets have included military families (IR-2003-63)
Schemes Promoting Use of Disabled Access Credit (IR-2002-17)
Home-Based Business Tax Avoidance Schemes (IR-2002-13)
Fact Sheet 2004-12, Tax Return Errors and Frivolous Tax Arguments — an overview of IRS warnings and technical guidance on frivolous positions.
Tax Scams — How to Recognize and Avoid Them
Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these “too good to be true” tax scams.
Criminal Investigation’s Tax Fraud Alerts
No matter how some things are sliced, they’re still baloney. If someone tells you that you don’t have to pay taxes, check out The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments. This IRS.gov exclusive addresses some of the more common false “legal” arguments made by those opposed to compliance with the federal tax laws. Each contention is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of the legal authority that rejects the contention. The second section deals with frivolous arguments encountered in collection due process cases. The final section illustrates penalties imposed on those pursuing frivolous cases.
IR-2004-41 describes the increasingly strong penalties the courts have imposed from March 2003 to March 2004 on taxpayers who pursued frivolous cases to delay IRS collection actions.
IR-2003-28 details penalties the Tax Court imposed from April 2001 until early March 2003 for making frivolous Collection Due Process arguments.
Credit Counseling Organizations
The IRS is concerned that some organizations are using their tax-exempt status to skirt consumer protection laws. Get the details through this IRS consumer alert.
Identity and Financial Theft Scams
The IRS has issued several recent consumer warnings on the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. Scamsters will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or e-mail to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet (e-mail), it is called phishing.
Bogus E-mail, Web site — In IR-2005-136, the IRS warned of an e-mail-based scheme that sent recipients to a phony site that mimicked an IRS.gov page in an attempt to trick recipients into revealing their Social Security number and credit card account and PIN numbers. [Nov. 30, 2005]
Non-resident Aliens with U.S. Income — Using fictitious correspondence and an altered IRS Form W-8BEN, this scheme tries to get personal and financial data from foreign nationals. IR-2004-104 [Aug. 3, 2004] and IR-2004-75 [June 1, 2004] have details.
Bogus E-mail, Web site — In IR-2004-60, the Treasury Department and the IRS warned of an e-mail-based scheme that attempts to trick recipients into revealing personal information such as social security numbers, driver’s license information and bank and credit card numbers. [April 30, 2004]
Phony Bank Scam — A 2002 scam used phony bank correspondence and IRS forms to trick unwary customers into disclosing their personal and financial information to the scam promoters. The information was used to steal the customer’s identity and bank account deposits, run up charges on credit cards, apply for loans, services or benefits in the customer’s name, file fraudulent tax returns and more. The phony IRS forms used in this scam were labeled W-9095, W-8BEN or W-8888. IR-2002-55 has more details.
Report instances of this fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
The Comptroller of the Currency issued Alerts 2002-3 and 2002-6, warning of this identity theft scam and including copies of phony bank correspondence and the phony W-9095. These are on the 2002 Alerts page of the Comptroller’s Web site.
Learn more about identity theft.
For assistance from an experienced CPA to help steer you clear of scams and trouble with the IRS contact me using the information below.
Jeff Haywood, CPA
I prepare the following types of tax returns:
Federal and State Returns
Also, I am available for tax planning and discussions about business, retirement planning and life goals.
For recent US income tax content see the following links:
Begin With The End In Mind
If the band you are in starts playing different tunes
Where Is It? Tax Refund
Deadline for 2010 Personal Tax Returns Moved
Now is the time to file those late tax returns for previous years
IRS: 8 Things to Know if You Receive an IRS Notice
IRS: Nine Fact on Filing an Amended Return
IRS: Eight Facts on Penalties
IRS Top Ten: Making Federal Tax Payments
Forming a New Business – Please Consult With Your CPA First
Questions After I Have Filed My Return
For a full list of prior posts see the CPA Tax Blog.
As always keep in mind that the content provided on this site is general in nature and may or may not apply to your particular case. It is best to check with a tax professional about your circumstances and what is best for you personally. Also, IRS regulations and tax laws are constantly changing and the information on this site is not constantly updated. Again please check with me about your particular circumstances and what will be best in your situation at the given time and law.
This article was written by Jeff Haywood, CPA.
Jeff is a licensed CPA in both Texas and Illinois.
He has prepared income tax returns for the public for over 10 years.
He also has an MBA in Finance from Loyola University in Chicago and he has 24 years experience in Corporate Finance and Business Analysis.