Yesterday the IRS released its list of the 2013 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams to help educate customers about this year’s most common tax scams.  Although these scams are active year-round, tax season seems to bring about a surge in victims.

"This tax season, the IRS has stepped up its efforts to protect taxpayers from a wide range of schemes, including moving aggressively to combat identity theft and refund fraud," said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller. "The Dirty Dozen list shows that scams come in many forms during filing season. Don't let a scam artist steal from you or talk you into doing something you will regret later."  Source: IRS

2013 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

  1. Identity theft
  2. Phishing
  3. Return preparer fraud
  4. Hiding income offshore
  5. "Free Money" from the IRS and tax scams involving Social Security
  6. Impersonation of charitable organizations
  7. False/inflated income and expenses
  8. False form 1099 refund claims
  9. Frivolous arguments
  10. Falsely claiming zero wages
  11. Disguised corporate ownership
  12. Misuse of trusts
Identity theft is rampant and peaks during tax season but if you follow these five steps to protect your identity this tax season you will minimize your risk.  Phishing is just one way that unscrupulous individuals can steal your identity.  But what is phishing?

According to the IRS, “Phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. Armed with this information, a criminal can commit identity theft or financial theft.”

The IRS warns taxpayers that they will never initiate contact by email to request personal or financial information and that the official IRS website is IRS.gov, not IRS.com, IRS.net or any other variation.  

For more details on the IRS warning, read the official 2013 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams release.

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