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What Are the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams to Watch Out For?

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We are living in an age where access to our personal and confidential information is a constant concern for most. If you have a cell phone or email address, you may have received calls, texts, or emails for special discounts, promotional offers, links to programs to assist with credit card debt, etc., that turn out to be scams. While it is highly convenient to have immediate information available at your fingertips to do things such as look for a new car or a tax attorney in Florida, this access also makes us more vulnerable to scams and fraudulent tax schemes.

In this article, we are going to discuss the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) five additions to their“Dirty Dozen” list of common tax-related scams to watch out for and how to spot them. This list is not exhaustive, but it does point to scams that one might not initially think are tax-related issues. If, after reading this article, you would like to further discuss potential scams or your tax situation in general, we invite you to call a tax attorney in Florida at the Law Office of Mary E. King, P.L. 

The Law Office of Mary E. King, P.L. can make sure that all your tax-related concerns are evaluated and discussed efficiently and at the lowest cost to you.  Please fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585 today.

1. Fake Charities

Tax deductions can be made on your federal tax returns each year for donations made to charities. However, you only qualify for a tax deduction from the IRS for “qualified charities.” People often donate to charities or fundraisers out of genuine concern and generosity, especially during times of disaster and tragedy. Disaster relief scams by phone calls are quite common. Some scammers go as far as setting up fake organizations and websites to try to make the scam more legitimate. The following are some tips on how to lessen the chances of falling into the fake charity trap:

1. Legitimate charities, in general, do not pressure callers to make a rush donation, allowing the potential donor to do some research on the charity’s legitimacy.

2. Potential donors should request the exact name, web, and mailing addresses to confirm a charity’s legitimacy. Be aware that some scam callers will use well-known charities to appear more genuine.

3. Donation payment methods. Scams asking for suspicious ways to pay such as by wiring money or asking to put money on gift cards and providing the numbers are almost guaranteed to be a scam. Never give your credit card information out without researching the charity first.

2. Immigrant and Senior Fraud

Fundraising scammers and IRS impersonators often target particularly vulnerable members of the population like immigrants who may have limited English speaking skills or senior citizens who may not be tech-savvy and may have diminished mental capacity. Those who have limited English proficiency skills should discuss potential donations with someone they trust to assist them in validating charity legitimacy. Senior citizens and those they trust to care for them should be aware of the dangers of potentially fraudulent tax scams.

3. Offer in Comprise “Mills”

The “Offer in Compromise (OIC) program involves an agreement between a taxpayer andthe IRS to resolve debts by settlement and acceptance of less than the full payment under certain circumstances. These “mills” offer to fill out the application for the OIC program and charge excessive fees and knowingly give false information to those who don’t qualify for the program. Some of these predatory schemes can cost vulnerable taxpayers thousands of dollars. These misleading programs are sometimes advertised on radio and television making them seem more legitimate. The IRS encourages a visit to the IRS website to learn more about the program before signing up with an OIC service. A tax attorney in Florida can also tell you if you qualify for the program and offer more guidance for your tax debt concerns.

4. Unscrupulous Tax Return Preparers

Most tax preparers are trustworthy, but some who claim to be tax preparers do not have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). These scammers do not sign off on your tax paperwork as the paid tax preparer as is required. Taxpayers are legally responsible for what is on their tax returns even if they were prepared by someone else. Here are some signs to spot an unscrupulous tax return preparer:

1. Requiring payment in cash only and not providing a receipt.
2. Falsify income information to qualify clients for tax credits.
3. Boosting refund sizes claiming fake deductions.
4. Directing refunds into their bank account instead of the taxpayer’s account.

5. Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Unemployment fraud scammers work with or against financial institutions and employers to get state or local government assistance to which they are not entitled. These schemes are more complex and can affect taxpayers in the long term. These scams can include, identity-related fraud, employer-employee collusion, misrepresentation of income, fake employer-employee fraud, and insider fraud. The following are some indicators of unemployment fraud:

1. Unemployment payments coming from a state other than the one receiver resides or a state that previously worked in.
2. Multi-state payment disbursements in a small timeframe.
3. Unemployment payments made to another account holder or multiple account holders.
4. Numerous deposits or electronic transfers for unemployment payments to non-account holder(s).
5. Higher payments seen in the same timeframe as others who received lesser payments.

We invite you to reach out to the Law Offices of Mary E. King.  Tax matters can be complicated, and thus, it is always helpful to have someone in your corner who understands the tax law and deals with the IRS on a regular basis.  There are multiple issues you may have concerning the IRS, and having a seasoned tax defense attorney can help. 

So, when it comes to dealing with tax relief and tax litigation, you need to talk to tax defense attorneys in Florida who can help.  Mary E. King has spent her career concentrating on tax law and can help you with tax scams in Florida and elsewhere.  Attorney King has a wealth of information about what types of options would make the most sense for you and your business.

That helps explain why she’s received an A+ rating from the Florida Better Business Bureau. If you have a tax-related issue – no matter how small or how large – setting up an initial consultation with Mary E. King, a tax attorney in Florida, is the first step you should take towards relief.

The Law Office of Mary King P.L. offers complete IRS problem-solving services including all areas from tax debt settlement to planning the most efficient tax strategy for individuals and businesses.  Call us today to schedule an initial consultation.  With years of experience as a tax lawyer in Florida for many clients, Attorney Mary E. King can make sure that your tax issues are resolved in your favor.  Fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585.   Remember, at the Law Office of Mary E. King, we are focused on solving your tax issues for good.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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