Tax Shelter Scams and Fraud are Becoming More Common
In America, we pay progressive taxes based on what we own and how much we earn. The problem is that this punishes you when your income reaches certain levels, and you are stuck with large tax bills every year.
You search for different tax shelters and come across some innovative ideas that get creative. You are not sure how everything works, but you know you will get a large write-off. This is what you have been searching for to lower your tax bills. Some so-called solutions offer significant write-offs and make it appear to be legal. The reality is, these scams increase your tax problems and don’t give you any legal write-offs.
Such scams are increasingly targeting vast segments of unsuspecting victims, including both younger adults and senior citizens. Since 2013, these scams have cost victims $23 million in fraud losses.
Fraudsters will take advantage of your lack of knowledge in these areas. They claim that these shelters will give you the biggest write-offs and point to their proven track record. All of these statements are lies, and you will have much larger problems after investing in many different tax fraud shelter scams.
We recommend contacting the tax shelter fraud attorney at the Wolper Law Firm, P.A.. We are skilled attorneys that have experience with these scams. You will speak with an attorney that listens and gives you practical advice for dealing with these situations.
Our attorneys create a customized legal strategy based on your situation. We have decades of experience working on these cases. Our attorneys have a 99% success rate for our clients. Contact us now at 954.406.1231 / 800.931.8452 to schedule your free consultation.
The IRS’s Top Ten Tax Scams
Tax shelter scams have become so common that the IRS issues a list of the “dirty dozen” top tax scams, including:
- Conservation easements: A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a property owner and a government agency or land trust. It restricts the development and future use of the property to protect the environment around it, including agricultural, natural, and cultural resources. The property owner keeps the rights of ownership and can use it for approved activities. They give up their right to develop or alter the land in a way that harms its ecosystem. Fraudsters will set up fake or inflated conservation easements and claim much larger tax deductions than the value of the land. Cases with these deductions are frequently audited by the IRS. We recommend contacting the tax shelter fraud lawyer if you are in conservation easements.
- Charitable remainder trust (CRAT) to eliminate any taxable gains: These transactions involve the transfer of an appreciated asset to a CRAT. The CRAT sells the property but doesn’t recognize the gains and purchases a single premium immediate annuity. You report only a small amount of income received. The remaining amount is treated as a non-taxable return on investment. This scam misapplies the tax rules for annuities and charitable trusts.
- Maltese (Foreign) Pension Arrangement Treaty scam: This scam has the attention of those U.S. citizens and residents that want to avoid paying taxes. This is accomplished by making retirement contributions to individual retirement accounts in Malta or other foreign countries. There are no limits to these contributions, and you have the option of paying in cash or cryptocurrencies. This scam takes advantage of the classification of a pension fund under a tax treaty with Malta. It implies that these contributions are sent to a foreign pension fund and you are exempt from paying any taxes.
- Puerto Rico or foreign captive insurance: This arrangement is common in situations where there is a lack of purpose for a business, unlikely risks are covered, or pricing without getting into the details. The taxpayer makes a deduction of the insurance premiums they pay out to carriers that are based out of Puerto Rico or other countries. A front carrier (called the cell) makes the purchase look like it is for legitimate purposes. They reinsure your coverage with a foreign insurance company to avoid paying any taxes.
- Offer compromise mills: These are companies that we all see on TV claiming to wipe out your tax debt for pennies on the dollar. The IRS encourages you to contact them directly about your tax debt. These mills will get you the same settlement if you approached the IRS on your own. The difference is you are paying additional fees to them to do nothing.
- Preparer won’t sign the tax form: Anyone that is using someone to prepare their taxes should avoid those who won’t sign the form as the preparer. This should raise an immediate red flag, and you want to be wary of using the return they prepared. Always use preparers that sign your tax form in the proper location.
- Suspicious phone calls and text messages: Scammers will use anything to trick you into giving out your personal information. This involves posing as the IRS by sending you text messages or calling. The IRS will never call or send you text messages or emails. They will contact you by mailing a letter or having an agent come directly to your location. You will never be threatened or encouraged to give out your personal information to anyone over the phone or by email or text message.
- Suspicious emails: Sometimes, scammers will send you suspicious emails that look like they are from the IRS with the official logo. Other times, you could receive emails from tax preparers stating how they can lower your taxes. These are all scams, and you should avoid them.
- Cryptocurrency scams: All U.S. citizens must pay taxes on the income they earn worldwide. A common scam involving cryptocurrency encourages you to hide your assets in crypto holdings overseas. Failing to report your foreign bank accounts and foreign cryptocurrency can lead to civil and criminal penalties.
- The refund scam: We all want to get our refund the moment we file our taxes. Scammers will contact you about how they recalculated your taxes to get you a larger refund. Scammers are trying to get your personal information, such as Social Security numbers, date of birth, and passwords, to get access to your bank accounts.
These are some of the most common tax shelter fraud schemes. Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to fool you, and tax season is when they are out in full force.
The Wolper Law Firm, P.A. has the knowledge and experience you need in dealing with tax shelter fraud. You work with a skilled tax shelter lawyer that knows the law and has worked on these cases. This gives us an advantage in understanding what happened to you and creating a customized legal strategy.
Contact us now at 954.406.1231 / 800.931.8452 to schedule your free consultation with a skilled tax fraud shelter lawyer.
Why Choose Us?
The Wolper Law Firm, P.A. has decades of experience working in the world of finance and understand how these tax fraud schemes work. Our attention to detail and skill is what makes us the tax shelter lawyer to call for help.
We have a 99% success rate for our clients and will not stop until we hold those responsible for the fraud accountable. You work with a dedicated attorney that will leave nothing to chance and look at every possible angle. Our focus on getting to the truth is what makes a difference in the outcome of your case.
Our investigative skills capture critical pieces of evidence that we use to show how the law was violated. We use this as leverage to put pressure on the fraudsters and regulators to hold them responsible. Our knowledge, skill, and experience are what make a difference.
The Wolper Law Firm, P.A. levels the playing field for you when it comes to tax scams. You will work with a skilled team of investigators and attorneys that know the law. Contact us now at 954.406.1231 / 800.931.8452 to schedule your free consultation with a tax shelter lawyer.
FAQs About Tax Shelter Fraud Schemes
Tax shelter fraud is when individuals or companies illegally engage in fraudulent tax shelters. They want to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
Fraudsters are exploiting loopholes in the tax code to artificially decrease or eliminate your tax liability. This is done using different methods including fraudulent deductions, offshore bank accounts, and fake business transactions.
Those that are engaged in this kind of fraud can expect significant penalties, including fines, prison time, and the revocation of tax-exempt status. We recommend speaking with the tax shelter fraud lawyer to avoid these outcomes.
The best way is to fill out IRS Form 3949-A (information referral) and mail it to the address on the form. This lets the IRS know about the tax shelter fraud and it establishes a timeline for reporting it.
You want to be cautious of any unsolicited promises or offers you receive on tax savings. You should always consult with qualified tax professionals about your situation. They can help you to avoid those shelters that could become a tax liability in the future.
CONTACT A REPUTABLE LAWYER REGARDING TAX SHELTER FRAUD
If you have concerns about possible fraud in a tax shelter but aren’t sure where to start, contact a tax fraud lawyer at Wolper Law Firm, P.A. to discuss the details of your case. We can be reached through the quick contact form included below or by phone at 954.406.1231 / 800.931.8452 to schedule your free, no-obligation case review.