In 2014: 54,690
6500 in December alone.
$14 million: Amount IRS says consumers pay out annually to scammers.
The Dirty Dozen:
• Phishing: Fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information.
• Identity Theft: Using stolen personal information for financial gain.
• Return Preparer Fraud: Dishonest tax preparers commit refund fraud, identity theft and other scams.
• Offshore Tax Avoidance: If you’re attempting to hide money offshore, it is still subject to US income taxes. Only the promoters of the scheme prosper.
• Inflated Refund Claims: Watch for anyone that asks you to sign a black return, charges fees based on a percentage of the refund, or promises a large refund sight unseen.
• Fake Charities: Are you donating to a legit organization?
• Hiding Income with Fake Documents: You are responsible for your returns. Beware tax preparers that offer to hide taxable income.
• Abusive Tax Shelters: There are legitimate tax shelters, such as your 401(k), but there are also illegitimate ones. Be wary of tax shelters that sound too good to be true.
• Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: Scam artists frequently talk taxpayers into inventing income to claim tax credits.
• Excessive Claims for Fuel Tax Credits: The fuel tax credit is limited to off-highway business use. Every year people claim it to inflate their refunds.
• Frivolous Tax Arguments: Scam artists encourage taxpayers to make outlandish claims to avoid taxes owed. The penalty: $5,000.
Stolen Identities on the Rise
1,451 children under 14 years old;
19,102 dead people;
753,000 people whose income level did not require a tax return.
18,000 in 2004
186,000 in 2011.
16.3% of phishing attacks used names of well-known banks.