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Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen represents the worst of the worst tax scams.

Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter anytime but many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their returns or hire someone to help with their taxes. Don’t fall prey.

For a summary of the IRS 2017 "Dirty Dozen" List of Tax Scams see IR-2017-37. For a detailed description of each scam, please refer to the list below:

  • IRS Committed to Stopping Offshore Tax Cheating — Avoiding taxes by hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on the 2017 “Dirty Dozen" list. See IR-2017-35.
  • IRS Warns Against Frivolous Tax Arguments — The IRS warned taxpayers against using frivolous tax arguments to avoid paying taxes. See IR-2017-33.
  • IRS Warns of Abusive Tax Shelters on 2017 List of Tax Scams — For the third consecutive year, the IRS places abusive micro-captive insurance tax shelters on the “Dirty Dozen.” See IR-2017-31.
  • IRS Includes Falsifying Income Scam in 2017 List — The IRS warned taxpayers to avoid schemes to erroneously claim tax credits. See IR-2017-29.
  • IRS Annual “Dirty Dozen” List Includes Falsely Padding Deductions — Avoid the temptation to falsely inflate deductions or expenses on tax returns, the IRS warned. Doing so may result in paying less than is owed or receiving a larger refund than is due. See IR-2017-28.
  • Excessive Claims for Business Credits Makes the IRS “Dirty Dozen” — The IRS warned that taxpayers should watch for improper claims for business credits. See IR-2017-27.
  • Falsely Inflating Refund Claims on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” — The IRS warned taxpayers to be alert to unscrupulous tax return preparers touting inflated tax refunds. See IR-2017-26.
  • Fake Charities on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams - The IRS warned taxpayers about groups masquerading as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors, one of the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2017. See IR-2017-25
  • IRS “Dirty Dozen” List Includes Return Preparer Fraud — The IRS warned taxpayers to be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers, one of the most common “Dirty Dozen” tax scams  during tax season. See IR-2017-23.
  • Identity Theft Remains on “Dirty Dozen” — The IRS issued a filing season alert, warning taxpayers and tax professionals to watch out for identity theft. See IR-2017-22.
  • Phone Scams a Serious Threat; Remain on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for 2017 — Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers. See IR-2017-19.
  • Phishing Schemes on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for 2017; Remain Tax-Time Threat — Watch out for fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. See IR-2017-15.

Prior year information on the IRS Dirty Dozen:

2016 - IRS Wraps Up the Dirty Dozen List of Tax Scams for 2016

2015 - IRS Completes the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2015

2014 - IRS Releases the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2014