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Each year, the IRS releases their listing of the “Dirty Dozen” tax schemes/scams.  This year’s list is peppered with COVID-19 scams.

 

SITUATION

Denali Christian College (DCC) is a private college exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A)(ii).  They are required to file Form 990 annually.

The CFO of DCC called this week with an interesting question.  “Hey, I was listening to the radio in my care and heard something about the IRS issuing a listing of tax scams.  I did not hear all of them, but it sounded interesting.  Do you know anything about this?”

“Yep,” we reply.  “Each year, the IRS releases a list of tax scams to be especially wary of.  Many times, these scams target the elderly and/or disadvantaged.  The Service generally focuses on schemes that attempt to steal money and information from taxpayers. In 2020, we should be alert to potential fake emails, telephone calls, or websites using keywords such as “coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” and “stimulus” in various ways in attempts to steal personal information. The IRS always reiterates that it will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email or telephone about a tax bill, refund, etc. Taxpayers also should be wary of fake charities with names similar to nationally known organizations that may have been set up to exploit natural disasters and other issues, such as the current pandemic.”

The 2020 Dirty Dozen includes:

  1. Phishing
  2. Fake Charities
  3. Threatening Impersonator Phone Calls
  4. Social Media Scams
  5. Economic Impact Payment or Refund Theft
  6. Senior Fraud
  7. Scams Targeting Non-English Speakers
  8. Unscrupulous Return Preparers
  9. Offer in Compromise Mills
  10. Fake Payments with Repayment Demands
  11. Payroll and HR Scams
  12. Ransomware

You can find out more (and even watch an IRS video) at the link below:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-unveils-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-2020-americans-urged-to-be-vigilant-to-these-threats-during-the-pandemic-and-its-aftermath

Also, keep up with all of the things going on with COVID-19 at our Coronavirus Resources webpage at:

www.mojacompany.com/covid-19-resources

 

RULES

From IR-2020-160, July 16, 2020:

The Internal Revenue Service today announced its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams with a special emphasis on aggressive and evolving schemes related to coronavirus tax relief, including Economic Impact Payments.

This year, the Dirty Dozen focuses on scams that target taxpayers. The criminals behind these bogus schemes view everyone as potentially easy prey. The IRS urges everyone to be on guard all the time and look out for others in their lives.

“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,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The IRS provides the Dirty Dozen list to help raise awareness about common scams that fraudsters use to target people. We urge people to watch out for these scams. The IRS is doing its part to protect Americans. We will relentlessly pursue criminals trying to steal your money or sensitive personal financial information.”

 

BOTTOM LINE

  • Each year the IRS releases its “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.
  • We should all be aware of these devious maneuvers and tell others (especially older citizens) about them.
  • You should review the listing and consider the risks to your institution.
  • How can knowing about these scams help you and your IT team better prepare and train your staff and students to defend against cyber threats?

Specific questions? Email Dave Moja

The information provided herein presents general information and should not be relied on as accounting, tax, or legal advice when analyzing and resolving a specific tax issue. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, please consult with competent accounting, tax, and/or legal counsel about the facts and laws that apply.

© 2020 Moja & Company, LLC