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The “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams to Watch For Thumbnail

The “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams to Watch For

Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases its list of tax scams, spotlighting the myriad ways that people try to separate you from your money.¹

The “Dirty Dozen”

Identity Theft

Using your personal information, an identity thief can file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund. If you’ve been a victim of stolen personal information, you can contact the IRS so the agency can protect your tax account.

Phishing

Be wary of fake emails or websites looking to steal your personal information. If you receive a request for information that appears to be from the IRS, contact the IRS directly to verify the request.

Telephone Scams

Scammers will contact you pretending to be from the IRS. They may say that you are due a large refund or owe money (even threatening arrest or revocation of your driver’s license). If you receive such a call, call the IRS and contact the Federal Trade Commission using their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov.

Inflated Refund Claims

Tax preparers promising inflated returns may ask clients to sign a blank return or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund. Beware of phony storefronts or preparers advertising through word-of-mouth to community groups where trust is high.

Return Preparer Fraud

Dishonest preparers may use tax preparation as an excuse to steal your personal information, so only use a preparer who signs the return and has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number.

Hiding Income Offshore

The IRS has strengthened its ability to identify offshore holdings, and the failure to report them will be costly.

Impersonation of Charitable Organizations

Fraudulent charities raise money or obtain private information from individuals looking to help. Donate only to recognized charities, and beware of charities whose names sound similar to the well-known ones.

False Income, Expenses or Exemptions

Falsifying your tax return is a high risk, low reward exercise, especially in this age of Big Data.

Frivolous Arguments

Ignore promoters of frivolous arguments that promise you tax relief. Not only are they expected to fail, but you may be subjected to penalties and possible jail time.

Falsely Padding Deductions or Returns 

Dishonestly reporting deductions to reduce tax bills or inflate refunds may open you up to penalties and prosecution.

Abusive Tax Structures

If someone is proposing to eliminate or substantially reduce your taxes through complex tax structures, walk away—they may be offering nothing more than illegal tax evasion.

Excessive Claims for Business Tax Credits

This happens when taxpayers or their tax preparers improperly claim the research credit or the fuel tax credit, which is generally limited to off-highway uses, such as farming.

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1.    The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

The information presented in this article is obtained from or based on sources believed to be reliable. BWC does not represent or warrant its accuracy or completeness and is not responsible for losses or damages arising out of errors, omissions or changes or from the use of information presented in this article. The article does not purport to contain all the information that an interested party may desire and, in fact, provides only a limited view. Information presented does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal invested. Past Performance does not guarantee future performance. Individual client accounts and performance vary. BWC does not provide tax advice.

About Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC – www.beirnewealth.com

Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC (“BWC”) is a privately owned, SEC Registered Investment Advisor with offices in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. BWC provides independent, fee-based investment management services and customized financial planning solutions. Our institutional business provides consulting expertise to defined benefit and defined contribution plans, endowments, foundations and non-profit organizations. Our private clients include high net-worth individuals and prominent families, many of whom bring complex wealth management challenges and multigenerational planning needs. For more information, please visit www.beirnewealth.com or give us a call today at 888-231-6372.

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