IRS ‘Dirty Dozen’ List Continued- Senior Citizens and Immigrants Are Often Targeted

The IRS issues additional warnings and details regarding 2021 tax fraud schemes and scams.  Encouraging senior citizens and immigrants to beware of fake charities impersonating IRS authorities and imposters who often charge exorbitant fees for Offers in Compromise, Unemployment Compensation Insurance fraud, or tax form preparation.  

Tips to remember when approached by a fake charity follow:

  • Individuals should never let any caller pressure them. A legitimate charity will be happy to get a donation at any time, so there’s no rush. Donors are encouraged to take time to do the research.
  • Potential donors should ask the fundraiser for the charity’s exact name, web address and mailing address, so it can be confirmed later. Some dishonest telemarketers use names that sound like large well-known charities to confuse people.
  • Be careful how a donation is paid. Donors should not work with charities that ask them to pay by giving numbers from a gift card or by wiring money. That’s how scammers ask people to pay. It’s safest to pay by credit card or check — and only after having done some research on the charity.

Offer in Compromise mills contort IRS programs and mislead people with no chance of meeting requirements or lowering penalties while charging excessive fees, often thousands of dollars. American taxpayers need to be wary of anyone who claims they can obtain larger offer settlements than others or who make misleading promises that the IRS will accept an offer for a small percentage fee. Companies advertising on radio or TV frequently are not able to do anything for taxpayers that they can’t do for themselves.  Contact the IRS directly.

Tips to remember when dealing with unscrupulous tax return preparers follow: 

  • Require payment in cash only and will not provide a receipt.
  • Invent income to qualify their clients for tax credits.
  • Claim fake deductions to boost the size of the refund.
  • Direct refunds into their bank account, not the taxpayer’s account.

Tips to remember with unemployment fraud red flags follow:

  • Unemployment payments are coming from a state other than the state in which the customer reportedly resides or has previously worked.
  • Multiple state unemployment payments are made within the same disbursement timeframe.
  • Unemployment payments are made in the name of a person other than the account holder or in the names of multiple unemployment payment recipients.
  • Numerous deposits or electronic funds transfers (EFTs) are made that indicate they are unemployment payments from one or more states to people other than the account holder(s).
  • A higher amount of unemployment payments is seen in the same timeframe compared to similar customers and the amount they received.

While a high percentage of tax preparers are honorable, ethical, and trustworthy, nefarious IRS impersonators and other tax preparation promoters are known to target vulnerable groups and are almost always threatening in nature. Those people who care about older Americans and immigrants need to also be on the alert for scams. An increased number of Americans have been known to receive telephone calls threatening penalties, jail time, deportation, or revocation of a driver’s license from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Recent immigrants should ignore these threats and not engage the scammers.  

SPS/GZ will continue to post Dirty Dozen List information as the IRS makes it available SPS/GZ is a full-service tax reporting firm that provides personalized service and exceptional support, utilizing state-of-the-art technology to create and e-file Forms 1099, Affordable Care Act tax forms, and Forms 3921 and 3922.  Reach out today at or call at (888)375-3049. 

Organizations & Accolades

Contact us to learn how SPS/GZ can be your company’s trusted partner for stock plan administration and tax form reporting services.