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12 Tax Scams to Avoid: The IRS’ “Dirty Dozen” List

Each year, the IRS compiles a list of common tax scams of which Americans should be aware, especially during tax season. See below for a list of the IRS’ 12 tax scams to avoid.

  • Phishing – Be cautious of fraudulent emails and websites appearing to come from legitimate companies that ask you to click a link or download a file.
  • Phone Scams – Do not respond to fake calls from individuals posing as the IRS.
  • Identity Theft – Protecting your social security number and personal information will prevent criminals from filing your tax returns.
  • Return Preparer Fraud – Keep an eye out for dishonest return preparers.
  • Fake Charities – Ensure your money is going to a real charity before making a donation. 
  • Inflated Refund Claims – Be cautious of anyone who promises you big tax refunds.
  • Excessive Claims for Business Credits – Avoid misusing business credits by doing your research in advance.
  • Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns – Never falsely increase deductions or expenses to receive a larger tax return.
  • Falsifying Income to Claim Credits – Always file your income accurately.
  • Abusive Tax Shelters – Always pay your fair share when it comes to taxes.
  • Frivolous Tax Arguments – Never make unreasonable claims to avoid paying taxes.
  • Offshore Tax Avoidance – Never hide money or income offshore to avoid paying taxes.

For additional information regarding common tax scams, visit the IRS’ website at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/dirty-dozen.