July 23, 2022 - Douglas Myser

IRS annual dirty dozen tax schemes. The IRS comes out every year with its list of the most prominent tax schemes of the year. Some stay in the list, while other new schemes, concocted by criminal elements, enter the list, and some leave the list as well. This year's list includes four "bogus tax avoidance strategies" that the IRS advices taxpayers to steer clear of. Many of these schemes are familiar to tax professionals who understand them, and often advise taxpayers to stay away from them. IRS annual dirty dozen tax schemes.

The list in total includes: concealing assets in offshore accounts and improper reporting of digital assets, non-filing of income tax returns by high income individuals, abusive syndicated conservation easements, and abusive microcaptive insurance arrangements. Some of these ploys, like those described in the initial release, are commonly pushed by promoters, and the four identified may turn up in solicitations to high income individuals.

The IRS in this release, reminded taxpayers that they are taxed on their worldwide income. Despite having new laws and better tools in recent decades for detecting unreported foreign income, the IRS recognizes that many individuals employ new and sophisticated tactics for concealing it, such as foreign trusts, employee leasing arrangements, private annuities, and transactions and nominee entities structures to conceal accounts or insurance plans true owners. Consequently, international tax compliance remains a top enforcement priority for the IRS. Crypto assets have proliferated throughout the world's economies and, because their true ownership is often opaque, likewise pose a challenge to tax enforcement. The IRS has means to identify owners of digital assets and track their transactions, contrary to a common but incorrect perception in the public.

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