Once again, tax season is upon us and the IRS has issued the annual “dirty dozen” tax scams. Topping this year’s list is identity theft. In response to growing identity theft concerns, the IRS has declared its intent to embark on a comprehensive strategy that is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible. In addition to the law-enforcement crackdown, the IRS has stepped up its internal reviews to spot false tax returns before tax refunds are issued and has been working to help victims of the identity theft refund schemes.
The entire list is as follows:
1. Identity Theft
3. Return Preparer Fraud
4. Hiding Income Offshore
5. “Free Money” from the IRS & Tax Scams Involving Social Security
6. False/Inflated Income and Expenses
7. False Form 1099 Refund Claims
8. Frivolous Arguments
9. Falsely Claiming Zero Wages
10. Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions
11. Disguised Corporate Ownership
12. Misuse of Trusts
All of these scams are illegal and can lead to problems for taxpayers; including significant penalties, interest and even possible criminal prosecution.
Here are some important things to keep in mind as you prepare to submit your 2011 taxes:
• You, as the taxpayer, are ultimately responsible for the content of your tax return and you can be held liable for the consequences that flow from the information that is reported. This is true even if a third party was involved in preparing your return.
• Never sign a tax return without reviewing it to ensure that it is honest and accurate.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Anyone who tells you they can get you a huge refund before they know you situation or tries to convince you that income tax reporting requirements don’t apply to your situation should be immediately suspect.
If you find yourself the victim of a tax scam and in hot water with the IRS, contact an Attorney in Jacksonville to see how we can assist you today.