Phishing tops off the 2017 IRS Dirty Dozen tax scam list

The IRS recently released its annual list of the top 12 tax scams, updated for the 2017 filing season. Phishing schemes, which involve tricking taxpayers or practitioners into revealing personal information via fake emails or websites, lead the list, rising from third place in 2016. The IRS includes a number of popular tax cons, such as phone scams and identity theft, in the top-ranked items, and rounds out the list with some lesser-known schemes, like the use of frivolous tax arguments and abusive tax shelters.

The complete list released by the IRS is as follows:

  1. Phishing schemes
  2. Phone scams
  3. Identity theft
  4. Return preparer fraud
  5. Fake charities
  6. Falsely inflating refund claims
  7. Excessive claims for business credits
  8. Falsely padding deductions
  9. Falsifying income to claim tax credits
  10. Abusive tax shelters
  11. Frivolous tax arguments
  12. Offshore tax cheating

Our team has seen an increase in targeted phishing scams against clients this tax season. For example, a client recently received a phone call that showed up with our firm’s number in the caller ID. The caller was phishing for information related to a credit report. Fortunately, the client knew we weren’t working on anything of that nature for them and they called us right away. If you suspect that you have been recently targeted, please contact your Lewis, Hooper & Dick tax professional and visit this IRS webpage to file a report.

For more details, read the whole article from the Journal of Accountancy.