Top New Tax Scams

 

Identity Theft: The IRS is increasingly seeing identity thieves using legitimate taxpayers Social Security numbers, to file fraudulent returns, to obtain tax refunds. In January the U.S. Justice Department announced a nationwide sweep, which targeted over 100 people in 23 different states.

Offshore Income: Over 30,000 people have voluntarily taken the IRS up on their offer to disclose offshore income, which resulted in the IRS collecting over $3.4 billion in tax revenue from those who had hidden the income offshore. This program started in 2009.

Frivolous Tax Arguments: These schemes take on various forms, but all claim that the individual does not have to pay any income tax at all. Every one of these arguments has been thrown out of court, and taxpayers should avoid these scammers.

Claiming Zero Wages: This is a popular argument that has made the rounds for years. Various ways are used to claim that the income earned of the taxpayer is not real income, therefore no tax is owed. These arguments have consistently been thrown out of court, or lost, and in the end the taxpayer is left holding the bag for the false argument. Many of these companies, or individuals who promote these scams, in fact do pay taxes themselves.

Abuse of Charities: These usually come in the form of improperly hiding income or assets. Donors also like to maintain control over the charity they donate to, which is improper and leads to abuse.

Trust Abuse: Promoters of this scam tell taxpayers that if they hide money in a trust, the IRS cannot touch it. This is an illegitimate use of a trust and can get a taxpayer in trouble. Make sure you check out the company and credentials of the professional you are using, to avoid Trust companies that are running scams.

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