Like previous years, 2015 is ripe for tax scams, as fraudsters wreak havoc among taxpayers and the IRS. This year, the IRS is releasing the annual “Dirty Dozen” tax scams to raise awareness among taxpayers. This year’s “Dirty Dozen” includes using fake income figures on a return.
Unscrupulous return preparers persuade taxpayers to falsify information on their tax return to claim larger refundable credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Taxpayers that falsify income to get larger refunds may instead face a tax bill, and may also face penalties. In some cases, defrauding the IRS may lead to criminal prosecution. Taxpayers should be aware that the accuracy of their return is their responsibility, and not the return preparer’s. Even if the IRS tracks a fraudulent return preparer, the taxpayer will also be held responsible for the fraud.
Be aware that a return preparer that asks you to include false information on your tax return or claim false tax credits and/or deductions will be creating a serious issue for you. If you experience such a problem, do not proceed with the preparer. Any inaccuracies can lead the IRS to conduct an audit.
Keeping current with unscrupulous return preparers’ methods can help taxpayers to spot a scam. Promise of a huge refund is a prime tool to tempt taxpayers into allowing false information on their returns. To ensure that your return is accurate, always review the information before filing.
Many times, unscrupulous return preparers falsify income figures and other information on a return without the knowledge of the taxpayer. Therefore, it becomes necessary to choose an honest and legitimate tax professional. The IRS recently released a directory of legitimate return preparers to help taxpayers find qualified help. Taxpayers may use this directory to hire an IRS-approved return preparer in their area.