Identity Theft Tops IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scams 2014

Posted on February 24, 2023

Identity Theft Tops IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scams 2014

Identity theft has again topped the IRS Dirty Dozen Tax Scams list for 2014. For the third consecutive year, identity theft has been found to be the most widespread tax scam in the country.

The tax season is ongoing and there have been reports that the IRS is struggling to combat identity theft. There are many reasons that identity theft  is the most common tax scam in the country, the primary one being that it is very easy to carry out. A computer with an Internet connection and basic computing skills is all a scammer needs to conduct this tax crime.

Accounting Web discusses how taxpayers can protect themselves from identity theft and get help if they think their identity is stolen:

“‘Taxpayers should be on the lookout for tax scams using the IRS name,’ IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a written statement. ‘These schemes jump every year at tax time. Scams can be sophisticated and take many different forms. We urge people to protect themselves and use caution when viewing e-mails, receiving telephone calls, or getting advice on tax issues.’

“Tax fraud through the use of identity theft tops the Dirty Dozen list for 2014, as it did in 2013 and 2012. In many cases, a scammer uses a taxpayer’s personal information, such as his or her name, Social Security number, or other identifying information, to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund, the IRS noted.

“The agency has a special section on its website dedicated to identity theft issues, including YouTube videos, tips for taxpayers, and an assistance guide. For victims, the information includes how to contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit; for other taxpayers, there are tips on how they can protect themselves against identity theft.

“The IRS emphasized that taxpayers should call the Identity Protection Specialized Unit immediately at 800-908-4490 if they believe they are at risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information.

“So, without further ado, here is the IRS’s Dirty Dozen list of scams for 2014:

  1. Identity theft
  2. Pervasive telephone scams
  3. Phishing
  4. False promises of “free money” from inflated refunds
  5. Return preparer fraud
  6. Hiding income offshore
  7. Impersonation of charitable organizations
  8. False income, expenses, or exemptions
  9. Frivolous arguments
  10. Falsely claiming zero wages or using false Form 1099
  11. Abusive tax structures
  12. Misuse of trusts”

It is advisable to file your tax returns as early as possible and keep your tax information safe to stay protected from tax scammers during the tax season.