IRS Wants You to Know About Schemes, Scams and Cons "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" Don't become a victim to any scheme that offers instant wealth or exemption from your obligation as a United States citizen to file tax returns and/or pay taxes. Some of these schemes can literally cost you your life savings. Others can result in your prosecution and imprisonment if you knowingly participate in them. Abusive Return Preparer Taxpayers should be very careful when choosing a tax preparer. While most preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous return preparers file false and fraudulent tax returns and ultimately defraud their clients. It is important to know that even if someone else prepares your return, you are ultimately responsible for all the information on the tax return. Abusive Tax Schemes Abusive tax scheme originally took the structure of fraudulent domestic and foreign trust arrangements. However, these schemes have evolved into sophisticated arrangements to give the appearance that taxpayers are not in control of their money. However, the taxpayers receive their funds through debit/credit cards or fictitious loans. These schemes often involve offshore banking and sometimes establish scam corporations or entities. Nonfiler Enforcement There have always been individuals who, for a variety of reasons, argue taxes are voluntary or illegal. The courts have repeatedly rejected their arguments as frivolous and routinely impose financial penalties for raising such frivolous arguments. Take the time to learn the truth about frivolous tax arguments. All Program and Emphasis Areas for Criminal Investigation Criminal Investigation has categorized their investigative cases into specific program and emphasis areas of fraud. Tax Scams — How to Report Them To help the public recognize and avoid abusive tax schemes, the IRS offers an abundance of educational materials. Participating in an illegal scheme to avoid paying taxes can result in imprisonment and fines, as well as the repayment of taxes owed with penalties and interest. Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these “too good to be true” tax scams. Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity!