The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as part of the Security Summit, is urging tax professionals to stay vigilant with regard to a variety of e-mail scams and "spear phishing" that aim to steal personal information about clients and companies. Between January and May 2017, some 177 tax professionals or firms reported data thefts involving thousands of clients' information.
The IRS released the full list of the top 12 tax scams threatening taxpayers and tax professionals in 2017, including:
The IRS remains committed to stopping the use of offshore accounts to hide money or assets, and has kept the act on its 2017 "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams. "Offshore compliance remains a top IRS priority," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The IRS receives more foreign account information each year, making it harder to hide income offshore."
The IRS has begun releasing detailed notices on the top 12 most common tax scams taxpayers may encounter during the 2017 filing season. Included so far are:
The IRS recently alerted employers to a dangerous new e-mail phishing scam involving false requests for payroll information made through "spoof" accounts. This scam "can result in the large-scale theft of sensitive data that criminals can use to commit various crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The IRS Security Summit issued a warning to tax professionals about a new e-mail scam by cybercriminals posing as potential clients. Scammers are sending phishing e-mails in two parts, beginning with a standard solicitation for services followed by a second email with an embedded web address or PDF attachment with an embedded web address. When the tax professional thinks they are accessing a new client's tax information, in reality they are opening up their system for the scammer to collect personal information for illegitimate use.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a warning on May 27, 2016 about a new tax scam in which callers impersonating IRS employees, tax preparers, or even state revenue agents are demanding payment for a so-called "Federal Student Tax" (which does not exist). In these bogus phone calls, victims are threatened that they will be reported to the police if they do not wire money immediately to the scammer. The IRS encourages taxpayers to remain vigilant against these scams. To learn more about this and other common attempts at tax scamming, click here.