The IRS publishes an annual Dirty Dozen List of scams and schemes to remind taxpayers to be vigilant in protecting their personal finances and information. The agency is committed to stopping all deceptive methods of cheating by hiring additional employees and upgrading, improving, and enhancing their systems, document matching, and analytic tools.
“Scammers continue using the pandemic as a device to scare or confuse potential victims into handing over their hard-earned money or personal information,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “I urge everyone to be leery of suspicious calls, texts and emails promising benefits that don’t exist.”
The IRS identified the following consumer-focused frauds that target the average taxpayer:
- Economic Impact Payment and tax refund scams
- Unemployment fraud leading to inaccurate taxpayer 1099-Gs
- Fake employment offers posted on social media
- Fake charities that steal your money
“Caution and awareness are our best lines of defense against these criminals,” Rettig added. “Everyone should verify information on a trusted government website, such as IRS.gov.”
Furthermore, the IRS warns taxpayers to avoid being misled into misusing tax avoidance strategies. “These tax avoidance strategies are promoted to unsuspecting folks with too-good-to-be-true promises of reducing taxes or avoiding taxes altogether,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Taxpayers should not kid themselves into believing they can hide income from the IRS. The agency continues to focus on these deals, and people who engage in them face steep civil penalties or criminal charges.”
Schemes that typically target high-net-worth taxpayers follow:
- Concealing Assets in Offshore Accounts and Improper Reporting of Digital Assets
- High-income individuals who don’t file tax returns
- Abusive Micro-Captive Insurance Arrangements
- Abusive Syndicated Conservation Easements
“These tax avoidance strategies are promoted to unsuspecting folks with too-good-to-be-true promises of reducing taxes or avoiding taxes altogether,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Taxpayers should not kid themselves into believing they can hide income from the IRS. The agency continues to focus on these deals, and people who engage in them face steep civil penalties or criminal charges.”
International tax compliance is a top priority of the IRS. International tax and money laundering crimes are on the rise and the IRS strives to protect the integrity of the U.S. tax system by educating American taxpayers during the year so that they confidently meet their tax responsibilities by making sound decisions. “The IRS is able to identify and track otherwise anonymous transactions of international accounts as well as digital assets during the enforcement of our nation’s tax laws,” Rettig said. “We urge everyone to come into compliance with their filing and reporting responsibilities and avoid compromising themselves in schemes that will ultimately go badly for them.” A good reminder to us all, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
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