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IRS Says Watch Out For These Tax Scams

The IRS released its yearly list of the top tax scams for 2014. Most are well-known, but have seen an uptick in frequency this tax season. Keep your eyes open for any of these scams.

Fake Charities

'Tis the season for giving. Taxpayers come into some extra money this time of year and many will look for charities to support. Thieves know this. They’ll pray on your generosity by devising fake organizations based on current events or causes that stir emotion.

As a general rule, steer clear of cold calls. If somebody calls and it sounds like a charity you want to support, research it on your own and make a donation using the instructions on the website once you’re sure it’s legit. Don’t give financial information to cold callers.

Fake IRS Calls

According to the IRS, scammers making calls claiming to be the IRS are on the rise. These take many forms including calls saying that the person will go to jail if they don’t send money now, or they may lose their driver’s license. Don’t fall for these tricks. Call the IRS at the number listed on its website. If the call was legit, the IRS will give you your options when you call.

Related: Tax Tip: Top Things Families Should Know About Taxes

Declaring False Income

But not all scams victimize the taxpayer. Sometimes the taxpayer is the perpetrator. The IRS identifies the reporting of false information as one of its top crimes this year. Some taxpayers are reporting false income or expenses or using tax credits that don’t apply to them. Unless you’re a farmer or somebody who uses a lot of fuel off-highway, you likely don’t qualify for the fuel tax credit, for example.

The IRS wants people to know that this is a felony and can come with hefty fines or even jail time.

Frivolous Claims

Do you discount the government’s right to collect taxes or does your religion prevent you from paying taxes? The IRS wants you to know that the way to fight those battles is through an act of congress—not by refusing to pay. Refusing to pay taxes based on claims such as these are referred to as frivolous and have been thrown out in court. The only battle you will fight in cases such as these is your battle to stay out of jail.

Want to read more of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scam list? Click here to go to the IRS website.

Posted-In: IRS Scams taxesPersonal Finance General Best of Benzinga

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