Earlier this year, the IRS announced the completion of its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams. The annual list highlights various schemes that taxpayers might encounter throughout the year, and especially during tax-filing season.
The “Dirty Dozen” the IRS highlighted in 2017 include:
Phishing: Be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal their personal information. Specifically, avoid opening surprise emails or clicking on web links claiming to be from the IRS, as the IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or refund.
Phone Scams: Aggressive and threatening phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing danger. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years, as con artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and revocation of their driver’s license if they fail to pay a bogus tax bill.
Identity Theft: Watch out for identity theft, especially around tax time. Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections, to make sure the security software is always turned on and can automatically update, to encrypt sensitive files such as tax records stored on the computer, and to use strong passwords.
Fake Charities: Be wary of groups masquerading as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors, and especially charities with names similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Taxpayers should avoid giving out financial information to individuals soliciting for charity and check the status of charitable organizations.
If you have questions about these issues or any of the issues raised in the IRS “Dirty Dozen,” please contact your Miller Cooper representative.