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2017 IRS “Dirty Dozen” Tax Schemes

2017 IRS “Dirty Dozen” Tax Schemes


Submitted on Feb 16, 2017 by Brian Wozniak, IRS SB/SE CSO,


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  1. Phishing Schemes:
    Watch out for fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information.


  2. Phone Scams a Serious Threat:
    Aggressive & threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers.

  3. Identity Theft:
    Tax-related Identity theft – with its related scams to steal personal and financial data from taxpayers or data held by tax professionals – remains a top item on the Dirty Dozen list.

  4. Return Preparer Fraud; Choose Reputable Return Preparers: 
    There are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers.

  5. Fake Charities:
    Fake charities set up by scam artists to steal your money or personal information.

  6. Falsely Inflating Refund Claims:
    Be alert to unscrupulous tax return preparers touting inflated tax refunds. 

  7. Excessive Claims for Business Credits:
    Taxpayers should watch for improper claims for business credits.

  8. Falsely Padding Deductions:
    Avoid the temptation to falsely inflate deductions or expenses on tax returns. 

  9. Falsifying Income:
    This scam involves inflating or including income on a tax return that was never earned, either as wages or self-employment income, usually to maximize refundable credits.

  10. Abusive Tax Shelters:
    Taxpayers should avoid unscrupulous promoters who encourage the use of phony tax shelters designed to avoid paying what is owed.

  11. Frivolous Tax Arguments: 
    Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish legal claims to avoid paying their taxes.

  12. Stopping Offshore Tax Cheating: 
    Avoid hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains.


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