Dirty Dozen, Part 3

This is the third and final article on the IRS’ Dirty Dozen Tax Schemes.  As we have mentioned before, we all need to be aware of people trying to get our information by making false statements about claiming refunds, how to report income, etc.

Some individuals believe that the federal government maintains secret accounts for U.S. citizens and that taxpayers can receive funds from these accounts by issuing a 1099-OID form to the IRS, in order to justify false claim information on the taxpayer’s income tax return.

Another scheme involves claiming outlandish or frivolous claims to avoid paying taxes.  The IRS has a list of frivolous tax arguments that have been thrown out of court on their website.  Some of them are quite interesting to read!

Other schemes include filing various tax forms that bring your income down to zero, using trusts illegally, setting up illegal foreign accounts, etc.  Most of the time, the scammer wants to get your personal information, such as your Social Security number and bank information, charge you a fee for helping you file the false information, then use your information to steal your identity.  Never fall victim to someone who encourages you to claim false information on your return.  The IRS wants everyone to take all the deductions they are entitled to.  However, false claims can result in very serious charges that can haunt you for years.  If you are not sure whether a claim is valid, ask a trusted CPA or financial planner for the facts.

The bottom line is that when you sign your return, you are stating that all of the information is true and correct.  You are the one that is ultimately responsible, whether the misinformation was intentionally or unintentionally stated.  What can be even more damaging is your Christian witness.  It only takes one mistake to damage your good reputation and witness, and years to gain it back.

About the Author
Valerie, the Foundation's Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, is a certified public accountant and certified financial planner. She joined the Foundation in 2000 and has over 20 years' experience in the financial and estate planning fields. Valerie is responsible for investment oversight, estate planning, audit, tax, and account management.

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