They’re Back—the IRS Dirty Dozen for 2019

Tax preparer scamEach year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lays out its top 12 worst-of-the-worst scams for the year.  And each year, we take a look at what is catching the attention of our federal tax agency.


Everything old is new.  Most of the entries on the IRS Dirty Dozen list don’t change much.  In terms of priority, some scams get more attention than others each year.  Overall, the list is an annual opportunity for the agency to post a most-busted list and warn taxpayers about common tax schemes lurking too close for comfort.


This was a big year for tax preparer fraud.  If you take a look at the Department of Justice rap sheet, it doesn’t take long to find headlines calling out tax preparers for filing fraudulent tax returns. 


In the past several years, tax crime involving offshore tax holdings consistently make the list.  As tax attorneys, we work on a regular basis with clients concerned about the legality of their tax shelters, or those who have already been contacted about an IRS audit or even a criminal tax investigation.


The IRS has some powerful help in the algorithms it uses to surface individual filers who fudged the numbers on their returns just a bit too much.  But the agency itself, often strapped for resources, can be counted upon to pursue bigger ticket prosecutorial paydays that result when wealthier taxpayers fail to report assets and offshore holdings on their FBAR.


Beyond those highlights, the Dirty Dozen for 2019 is split between two types of scams—those that victimize taxpayers and those that taxpayers undertake for their own enrichment.  In these two camps we have:


  • Be aware: Consumers are warned to maintain vigilance against phone scams, internet phishing, and identity theft.  Bad actors are out there, and they are looking for your financial, personal, and medical data to sell or secure as a backdoor on an even bigger hack.  Fake charities snare well-intentioned taxpayers each year through promotion of phony giving opportunities or claimed association with an actual, authentic non-profit.
  • Be warned: The IRS warns about old, but always relevant moves that can leave you with criminal tax charges.  Inflating your tax credits, deflating your income, or making frivolous tax protests to avoid paying taxes can leave you in hot water.


Taxes and tax crime are not going away.  If you are concerned with protecting your wealth or your liberty, speak to an experienced criminal tax defense attorney.


Chicago tax attorneys provide strategic guidance on civil and criminal tax matters

Serving international and local clients from offices in Chicago and Cleveland, Illinois, the legal team at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC delivers experienced, discrete legal service if you face a charge of criminal tax fraud or other allegation.  Call us at 800-579-0997 today.


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