Tax Day is upon us, and especially for those scrambling to finish their 2022 returns, stay on the lookout for aggressive and convincing tax-related schemes.
Each year, the IRS puts together a report called the “Dirty Dozen.” The report warns taxpayers of some of the most frequent and trendy scams to watch out for during the current filing season.
Many tax schemes peak during this time of year, so be sure not to fall prey. Here’s a look at a few highlights (or “lowlights,” perhaps more appropriately) of this year’s “Dirty Dozen”:
- Tricky email and text messages. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel says scammers regularly pose as the IRS or another agency to take advantage of people anxious to receive the latest information about a refund or other tax issues. Beware of text messages or emails trying to trick you into giving away personal information.
- Misleading advice on social media. Things posted on social media may not always be accurate. Shocking, we know. The IRS has seen several examples of inaccurate “advice” on social media that encourages people to submit false information in hopes of getting a refund. There are many ways to get good tax information, like through a trusted tax professional, tax software and IRS.gov, but people “should be incredibly wary about following advice being shared on social media,” Werfel says.
- Abusive tax avoidance schemes. Watch out for promoters peddling bogus tax schemes aimed at reducing taxes or avoiding them altogether. These can take many shapes, ranging from conservation easements and insurance arrangements to schemes with an international component. “People should always look for advice from an independent, trusted tax professional, not a promoter focused on aggressively marketing and pushing questionable transactions,” Werfel says.
Read the whole report here – and stay alert this tax season!