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Beware of the IRS Dirty Dozen tax scams


WASHINGTON, DC (WSAU) -- The IRS is reminding taxpayers to keep clear of a number of common tax scams they're calling their 'Dirty Dozen'.

IRS Spokesman Chris Miller says these are a series of scams they see year after year. "Every year people fall prey to tax scams. We want people to be people to be safe and informed and not be a victim."

IRS Special Agent Rick Myrland says one of the big things they've been seeing each year is an increase in identity theft. "Each year we're getting better at detecting it, and more importantly preventing it and stopping refund frauds." Other crimes include telephone scamming and robocalls, phony tax preparers scamming people out of their refunds, and people filing false deductions.

Additionally, Myrland says you shouldn't expect results from telling the IRS that taxes are illegal. "The arguments that they raise, the positions that they take are brought up time and again in courts all over the land, and they are consistently squashed. They have no merit." The IRS calls these 'frivolous arguments' and they get a special section on the IRS's website simply because the same ones are used time and again, and are frequently sold as tax remedies by pitchmen out to make a buck. Myrland says schemes and seminars that tell you that they can get you out of paying taxes by filing the right forms or saying the right thing never works. "People really need to sit down and think through what they're saying and do their own research. I think they'll find that these arguments and these positions and these defenses have failed time and time again."

The IRS has been doing more to catch and prosecute tax cheats and help out taxpayers who've been scammed, and they've been working with local authorities to do it. Myrland says they're turning smaller cases over to local authorities to help save money. "Reserving our resources to go after the bigger cases. The people who might be filing 100 returns or identity theft or even more than that."

You can learn more about the Dirty Dozen online at http://www.irs.gov