IRS Wraps Up 2021 “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scam List

Recently, the IRS released a list of tax scams that they saw during 2020.  Some may seem familiar while others may be new; however, having information about these scams can prove helpful. Below are some of the common scams they saw:

  1. Stealing Stimulus Payments

Identity thieves had a busy year when it came to the Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payments).  The IRS would like to remind you it will contact you via mail should they need information from you.  Text messages, random calls or emails inquiring about bank account information are not coming from the IRS.

  1. Impersonating the Unemployed

With the increase in unemployment numbers, scammers saw an opportunity to file fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation.  They would use stolen personal information of individuals who did not file a claim for unemployment compensation.

  1. Phish Tales

Phishing scams have been around for a while now.  These are communications that seem to be coming from a legitimate source asking for personal and financial information.  Cybercriminals not only send these communications by email but they have started using social media posts.  Before responding to communication asking for financial information verify it is coming from an approved source.

  1. Making Vishes Come True

These are unexpected calls that ask for personal financial information.  There has been an increase in voice related phishing (vishing) scams related to federal tax liens.  Another reminder that the IRS will not call you as a matter of first contact.

  1. Just Plain Anti-Social

Social media has enabled scammers to lurk on accounts and extract personal information to use against the victims.  This can also happen through emails that impersonate the victim’s family, friends or co-workers.

  1. Mining Tragedy

With the tragedies, disasters, and pandemic there has been a rise in the number of fake nonprofit organizations.  Scams requesting donations for disaster relief efforts were especially common over the phone.

  1. OIC Scams

Offer in compromise mills contort the IRS program into something it is not, misleading victims who have no chance of meeting real OIC requirements while charging sky-high fees.


For more information on these scams, and other scams, please visit the IRS’ list of dirty dozen. The biggest takeaway of all the scams is that the IRS will never email, text, or call a taxpayer. All correspondence from the IRS will come through the mail. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.