Abusive Retirement Plans Make IRS “Dirty Dozen” List

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has compiled its annual list of “dirty dozen” tax scams, including “abusive” retirement plans.

The IRS says it continues to find abuses in retirement plan arrangements, including Roth Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). Moreover, the IRS says it is looking for transactions that taxpayers use to avoid the limits on contributions to IRAs, as well as transactions that are not properly reported as early distributions. 

“Taxpayers should be wary of advisers who encourage them to shift appreciated assets at less than fair market value into IRAs or companies owned by their IRAs to circumvent annual contribution limits,” the IRS cautions, noting that other variations have included the use of limited liability companies to engage in activity that is considered prohibited.  

The rest of the Dirty Dozen for 2011 includes:

  • Hiding Income Offshore
  • Identity Theft and Phishing
  • Return Preparer Fraud
  • Filing False or Misleading Forms
  • Frivolous Arguments
  • Nontaxable Social Security Benefits with Exaggerated Withholding Credit
  • Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions
  • Disguised Corporate Ownership
  • Zero Wages
  • Misuse of Trusts
  • Fuel Tax Credit Scams

“The Dirty Dozen represents the worst of the worst tax scams,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “Don’t fall prey to these tax scams. They may look tempting, but these fraudulent deals end up hurting people who participate in them.”

More information on the “dirty dozen” is available at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=238262,00.html?portlet=6