IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scams 2014 lists the top 12 scams in the country for this year. It is issued as an alert to taxpayers to help them protect themselves from the many traps and tricks laid by tax scammers. Many of these tax scams, especially identity theft and tax preparer fraud, increase during the tax season.
“Scams can be sophisticated and take many different forms. We urge people to protect themselves and use caution when viewing e-mails, receiving telephone calls or getting advice on tax issues,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The 12 top tax scams for 2014 are:
- Identity theft
- Pervasive telephone scams
- False promises of “free money” from inflated refunds
- Return preparer fraud
- Hiding income offshore
- Impersonation of charitable organizations
- False income, expenses, or exemptions
- Frivolous arguments
- Falsely claiming zero wages or using false Form 1099
- Abusive tax structures
- Misuse of trusts
Identity theft is already causing alarm in the IRS; they receive hundreds of fraudulent tax returns every day. Like both 2012 and 2013, identity theft has retained the top position on the 2014 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams list. The IRS is making efforts to curb this crime, but as it is conducted remotely, it is challenging find and prosecute the culprits.
Return preparer fraud has dropped down to the fifth place in the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2014. To restrict this tax scam, the IRS introduced the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and made it mandatory for every practicing tax preparer to include it in every tax return they prepare.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to protect themselves because in spite of their efforts, these most common tax scams continue to victimize millions of taxpayers across the country every year. The IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scams are a reminder to watch out for these tax scams during the tax season and after it.