Are You a Victim of a Tax Scam? You Could Run Into Trouble with the IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants taxpayers to be aware of tax scams—and it wants taxpayers to avoid these scams if at all possible. But, while the IRS can issue warnings, what it cannot do in many cases is distinguish between scam victims and taxpayers who have knowingly submitted fraudulent returns. As a result, victims of tax scams will run into trouble with the IRS in many cases. In this article, Washington D.C. tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, explains what you need to know if you submitted a false return as the result of falling victim to a tax scam.
Common Tax Scams that Can Result in Filing a False Return
There are several types of tax scams that can lead taxpayers to file false returns. While unknowingly submitting a false return is not a criminal offense, it can still lead to liability for back taxes, interest and civil penalties in many cases. As a result, if you believe that you may have filed a false return as the result of falling victim to a tax fraud scam, it will be important for you to discuss your situation with a Washington D.C. tax attorney as soon as possible.
Here are some examples of current tax scams that can lead to problems with the IRS:
- Fake charities (including charities purporting to support COVID-19 relief) seeking donations – Since these are not legitimate charities, donations are ineligible for charitable deductions.
- Offer in Compromise “mills” – These companies purport to provide assistance with negotiating Offers in Compromise, but in many cases, they take taxpayers’ money while leaving them further indebted to the IRS.
- Unscrupulous tax return preparers – If you hire an unscrupulous tax return preparer who completes a false return on your behalf, you are still personally liable for the contents of your return.
What To Do if You Are a Victim of a Tax Scam
If you are (or believe you may be) a victim of a tax scam, what should you do? At this point, your priority should be to consult with a tax attorney. Next, you need to know whether you need to amend your returns—and if you do, you must do so carefully in order to avoid additional complications.
An experienced tax attorney will be able to evaluate your other options as well. For example, should you report the scam to the IRS (and if so, how)? Should you seek a settlement agreement or offer in compromise? Should you consider a voluntary disclosure? Different circumstances call for different solutions. To protect yourself, you need to ensure that you make informed decisions every step of the way.
Request a Consultation with Washington D.C. Tax Attorney Kevin E. Thorn
If you need help recovering from a tax scam, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a confidential consultation. To request an appointment with Washington D.C. tax attorney Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, call 202-349-4033, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us confidentially online now.