The IRS on Thursday issued its “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2020, pointing out that it was placing special emphasis on aggressive and evolving schemes related to coronavirus tax relief, including economic impact payments (IR-2020-160).
“Tax scams tend to rise during tax season or during times of crisis, and scam artists are using pandemic to try stealing money and information from honest taxpayers,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said.
New to the 2020 list are “offer-in-compromise mills” and ransomware.
Here are the 2020 scams:
Phishing: This scam involves fake emails or websites aiming to steal personal information. The IRS emphasizes that it will never initiate contact with taxpayers using email about a tax bill, refund, or economic impact payment. The IRS warns taxpayers not to click on links claiming to be from the IRS and to be alert that emails and websites may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information.
The IRS Criminal Investigation division has seen a tremendous increase in phishing schemes using emails, letters, texts, and links. Taxpayers should be especially wary of keywords, such as “coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” and “Stimulus.”
Fake charities: This scam makes the list every year. Criminals frequently exploit natural disasters and other situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic by setting up fake charities to steal from well-meaning people who want to help in times of need. Unfortunately, fake charities often…