Article Date:
February 2024

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The IRS Dirty Dozen List: More Than Just a Gimmick

For over 20 years, the IRS has released a series of notices identifying tax scams and avoidance schemes, which the agency calls the “Dirty Dozen” (an apparent reference to the classic 1967 World War II movie starring Lee Marvin and Jim Brown).


Is the IRS Dirty Dozen just an IRS publicity gimmick, or is it useful for taxpayers, tax preparers, and tax advisors?


The Dirty Dozen list is quite useful and is something you should review each year.


2023 Dirty Dozen List


The IRS updates its Dirty Dozen each year. Here’s a summary of the items on the 2023 Dirty Dozen list:1


1. Employee Retention Credit Claims


These are aggressive pitches from promoters to con ineligible employers into claiming the employee retention tax credit. Promotions can be based on inaccurate information related to eligibility for and computation of the credit.


2. Phishing and Smishing


These are fake communications from scammers posing as IRS agents or other tax or financial community members. These messages arrive as unsolicited texts (smishing) or email (phishing) to lure unsuspecting victims into providing valuable personal and financial information that can lead to identity theft.


3. Online Account Help from Third-Party Scammers


Swindlers pose as a helpful third party and offer to help create a taxpayer’s IRS online account at They then try ... Log in to view full article.

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