IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams

by Harry Galstian

February 20, 2014

IRS issues an annual list of the top twelve tax scams in time for tax season. Direct Tax Relief assists clients with tax preparation for current and past tax years and corrected amended returns for victims of tax preparer scams.

The Internal Revenue Service on February 19, 2014, issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams.

(IR-2014-16), reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.

The Dirty Dozen listing, explained Direct Tax Relief’s senior enrolled agent Maurice Rosaler is compiled by the IRS each year and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter at any point during the year, but many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns.

“Tax season has just begun,” noted Rosaler who has 26 years of tax resolution experience including working for the IRS as a revenue officer and manager, “and already return filings are up 2.5% from 2012 (IR-2014-15). That means more people are filing early and everyone should be aware of what to watch for in the way of tax scams and in particular tax preparation scams.”

The Internal Revenue Service’s 2014 Dirty Dozen list (IR-2014-16) includes false promises of “free money” and inflated refunds; return preparer fraud; false income, expenses, or exemptions; frivolous arguments; and falsely claiming zero wages or using false Forms 1099.

“All of those scams,” pointed out the former IRS revenue officer and group manager, “are tied into false or illegal tax preparers. These scams, for the most part, are complex and your average taxpayer is not going to know about their legality. It is the illegal tax preparers, mostly all unlicensed and non-certified, who promote the scams to unsuspecting taxpayers who have no idea their tax return is fraudulent.

“I’ve seen this now for over twenty-six years,” Rosaler continued, “and scam artists routinely pose as tax preparers during tax time, luring victims in by promising large tax refunds or refunds that people never dreamed they were due in the first place.”

The IRS in its February 19, 2014 (IR-2014-16) statement lists that 60 percent of taxpayers will use tax professionals this year to prepare their tax returns. Most return preparers provide honest service to their clients. But, some unscrupulous preparers prey on unsuspecting taxpayers, and the result can be refund fraud or identity theft.

Rosaler stated it is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return. Remember, he warned, taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their return even if it is prepared by someone else. Taxpayers should use only preparers who sign the returns they prepare and enter their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs).

“That’s what we do at Direct Tax Relief.” Rosaler said, “Our Tax Preparation Manager is a registered tax preparer with a background in business accounting, payroll, and tax. Our enrolled agents and tax attorneys are all licensed to practice before the IRS and the states.”

“The best way” added Direct Tax Relief’s senior enrolled agent, “any taxpayer dealing with the IRS whether it’s with tax preparation or IRS levies or audits or liens or seizures or Offer in Compromise is to get professional help by looking for and retaining a trusted tax relief firm with attorneys and enrolled agents who specialize in the field of tax resolution and tax preparation. The best way is to look for an authentic tax relief firm like Direct Tax Relief which is listed with the BBB with an A rating and zero complaints.”

“Also,” Rosaler advised, “if in the past you think you’ve been taken in by an illegal tax preparer and their scams we can help you there as well. At DTR we can file corrected amended returns; negotiate a payment plan or propose an Offer in Compromise to resolve any balance due as well as advocate for abatement of some very serious and large penalties.”

The remainder of the IRS Dirty Dozen (IR-2014-16) is Identity theft; telephone scams; hiding income offshore; phishing; the impersonation of charitable organizations; abusive tax shelters; and misuse of trusts.

“Don’t fall prey” Rosaler concluded “to people who encourage you to claim deductions or credits to which you are not entitled or willingly allow others to use your information to file false returns. If you are a party to such schemes, you could be liable for financial penalties or even face criminal prosecution. Get professional help from a reputable firm like Direct Tax Relief.”

Direct Tax Relief has extensive experience in tax preparation and tax resolution and has represented numerous clients since 2007 providing professional legal tax preparation and advice to resolve tax matters including Offer in Compromise, levy and garnishment release, appeal penalties, and establishing minimal payment plans to the government.

If you have unfiled tax returns or owe the IRS or state over $10,000 in back taxes, contact Direct Tax Relief. Direct Tax Relief is an IRS tax relief company. Their tax experts will take over all communications with the IRS and handle your case from beginning to end.