IRS: Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2015

The IRS has completed the 2015 “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams – most notable is the warning about aggressive telephone scams during the early weeks of this year’s filing season.

The aggressive, threatening phone calls from scam artists continue to be seen on a daily basis in states across the nation. The IRS urged taxpayers not to give out money or personal financial information as a result of these phone calls or from emails claiming to be from the IRS.
Phone scams and email phishing schemes are among the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams the IRS highlighted, for the first time, on 12 straight business days from Jan. 22 to Feb. 6. The IRS has also set up a special section on highlighting these 12 schemes for taxpayers.

  1. Phone Scams: Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remains an ongoing threat to taxpayers. 
  2. Phishing: Taxpayers need to be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information.
  3. Identity Theft: Taxpayers need to watch out for identity theft especially around tax time. The IRS continues to aggressively pursue the criminals that file fraudulent returns using someone else’s Social Security number.
  4. Return Preparer Fraud: Taxpayers need to be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest high-quality service. 
  5. Offshore Tax Avoidance: The recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore. 
  6. Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers need to be on the lookout for anyone promising inflated refunds.
  7. Fake Charities: Taxpayers should be on guard against groups masquerading as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors. 
  8. Hiding Income with Fake Documents: Hiding taxable income by filing false Form 1099s or other fake documents is a scam that taxpayers should always avoid and guard against. 
  9. Abusive Tax Shelters: Taxpayers should avoid using abusive tax structures to avoid paying taxes. 
  10. Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: Taxpayers should avoid inventing income to erroneously claim tax credits.
  11. Excessive Claims for Fuel Tax Credits: Taxpayers need to avoid improper claims for fuel tax credits.
  12. Frivolous Tax Arguments: Taxpayers should avoid using frivolous tax arguments to avoid paying their taxes. 

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Davis and Hodgdon Associates CPAs has been assiting nonprofits, individuals and businesses with tax, accounting, and financial planning services in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call 802.878.1963 or email [email protected].

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