David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807
FAX 417-881-8058

March 2, 2017

Tips for Avoiding Tax Scams

FORSYTH, Mo. — The IRS release, IR-2017-37: summarizes a "Dirty Dozen" List of Tax Scams for 2017. It reminds taxpayers they need to guard against ploys to steal their personal information, scam them out of money or talk them into engaging in questionable behavior with their taxes.

"We continue to work hard to protect taxpayers from identity theft and other scams," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Taxpayers can and should stay alert to new schemes which seem to constantly evolve. We urge them to do all they can to avoid these pitfalls."

The IRS began highlighted its Dirty Dozen list three years ago. Taxpayers can review the list online at IRS.gov.

According to Nellie Lamers, family financial education specialist, this year's "Dirty Dozen" scams include the following.

  • Phishing: fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or refund. (IR-2017-15)

  • Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers. IR-2017-19)

  • Identity Theft: Identity theft continues to increase, especially around tax time. (IR-2017-22)

  • Return Preparer Fraud: While the vast majority of tax professionals provide honest high-quality service, there are some dishonest preparers. (IR-2017-23)

  • Fake Charities: Be sure the charitable organizations you give to are legitimate and currently eligible charities. (IR-2017-25)

  • Inflated Refund Claims: If you are promised a big refund, be sure you understand why you are getting it based on your tax forms and records. Be sure you understand any charges or fees that may come out of your refund and how they are determined. (IR-2017-26)

  • Excessive Claims for Business Credits: (IR-2017-27)

  • Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns: (IR-2017-28)

  • Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: (IR-2017-29)

  • Abusive Tax Shelters: (IR-2017-31)

  • Frivolous Tax Arguments: (IR-2017-33)

  • Offshore Tax Avoidance: (IR-2017-35)

For more information on issues related to home finances, contact either of the MU Extension family financial education specialists in southwest Missouri: Nellie Lamers, Taney County Extension Center, (417) 546-4431, lamersn@missouri.edu or John Wood, Douglas County Extension Center, (417) 683-4409, woodjo@missouri.edu.

Source: Nellie Lamers, (417) 546-4431

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