Have you heard of the “dirty dozen?” Each year, the IRS lists the top 12 recurring federal tax offenses – frauds, cheats, feints and schemes that ethically challenged taxpayers, tax preparers and crooks try to perpetrate. Watch for these scams in all seasons, not just tax season.
Identity theft. Casually discarded or displayed personal information is an open invitation to criminals. Even when we are vigilant, multiple firewalls and strong passwords can fail to protect us. The Government Accountability Office says fraudsters stole $5.8 billion in false refunds in 2013 and the Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration thinks the losses will hit $21 billion next year. The IRS says it is “making progress” fighting this problem.1