Twelve tricks that could cost you extra cash this tax season have been dubbed the "Dirty Dozen". The IRS puts out this list of scams every year in hopes of protecting consumers. While some of this year's top swindles may surprise you, others won't. For instance, this year's biggest tax trouble could come from identity theft. "We understand that a lot of identity theft happens outside the tax season," says IRS Spokesman Raphael Tulino, "and then when somebody files a tax return it is the first time they realize they've had identity theft happen to them." He says, if you discover you were a victim, there are resources to protect you and prosecute criminals.
High pressure calls demanding a wire transfer to pay off your tax debts before you're thrown in jail are another way thieves try to trick you. Tulino says you're more likely to get several letters from the IRS than a call. "The IRS is never ever, under any circumstances, going to call you out of the blue and demand that you pay taxes a certain way such as on a prepaid debit card or wire transfer," he says. The same goes for emails demanding payment. These sites are phishing for your personal information, and the IRS will never initiate contact with you online.
In addition to listing ways that scammers will steal your cash, the "Dirty Dozen" list includes the most common ways that people try to break the rules to reduce the amount of taxes they pay, or avoid paying them altogether. In the end, these tricks could cost you a lot money. Tulino advises using a tax professional you trust, and avoid being led into abusive or deceptive tax schemes. "No matter who prepares your tax return, no matter who does it, you're the one responsible for what's on it once you sign it," he says. If you have questions, you can find free advice and important forms at the Reno IRS office on irs office, or online at irs.gov.
For a look at the complete "Dirty Dozen" list, click on the link to the right.