Just two weeks ago in this Geyer Law blog, we published a partial list of criminal scams about which the FBI is warning the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS is also warning the public about scams that have to do with income tax information….
It’s nothing new; in fact, for years now, the IRS has been compiling its so-called Dirty Dozen list, unveiling the latest tax scams, and urging Americans to be on the lookout for these threats to their financial safety, particularly during the pandemic.
This year’s Dirty Dozen, the IRS tells us, was compiled with special emphasis on “aggressive and evolving schemes related to coronavirus tax relief.” The bottom line?
Scam artists are using the confusion and worry surrounding the pandemic to steal money and information from honest taxpayers. The IRS cautions taxpayers to remember that, no matter who prepares their tax return, it is they who are responsible for the information on the return.
Scammers may initiate contact with consumers in several different ways, with the contact (purportedly) emanating from the IRS, law enforcement, a debt resolution company, fake charity, or even from the intended victim’s family or friends. The contact attempts may come in the form of:
- telephone calls
- text messages
- ransomware infecting a victim’s computer or server
- fake invoices
- fake IRS documents
Even more “daring” scams happen when the criminals impersonate employees and direct the employer to change the address or bank account into which the employee’s pay is deposited.
A complete list of the 2020 “Dirty Dozen” may be viewed at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-unveils-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-2020-americans-urged-to-be-vigilant-to-these-threats-during-the-pandemic-and-its-aftermath .
At Geyer Law we do not prepare tax returns, instead working in cooperation with clients’ tax and insurance advisors to coordinate estate planning with tax planning. But when it comes to being on guard against Dirty Dozen scammers, everyone – advisors and clients alike – need to be on the alert!
– by Ronnie of the Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates blog team