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The IRS's "Dirty Dozen" Tax Scams

February 21st, 2017
IRS logoEvery year at the beginning of tax season, the IRS issues an annual list of the most common tax scams.

Dubbed "The Dirty Dozen," this year's list includes several that have appeared on the IRS list before.

Phishing, the sending of sending of emails pretending to be from the IRS, is again at the top of the Dirty Dozen list. Not only do scammers send them to taxpayers, but they've managed to trick tax preparers and HR personnel in disclosing sensitive information.

The phone scam, #2 on the list, is a variation of email phishing. In this one, the caller pretends to be from the IRS threatening them with fines, even criminal prosecution for supposedly failing to pay taxes.

Others on the list are scams perpetrated by unscrupulous preparers who set up shop, luring in unwary taxpayers with promises of getting them big refunds. Instead, they steal their identity, gain access to bank accounts and credit cards and even divert legitimate refunds to their own accounts.

Then, there are the scams taxpayers themselves perpetrate. "Thing twice," the IRS warns, "Before overstating deductions such as charitable contributions and business expenses or improperly claiming credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit."

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