dirty dozen

IRS Dirty Dozen List: Triggers IRS Scrutiny

Add New Roof = Tax Deduction for Old Roof

For over 20 years, the IRS has issued an annual Dirty Dozen list identifying tax scams and avoidance schemes. This year’s list includes everything from employee retention credit claims to the use of fake charities.

Before you invest your hard-earned money in these or other highly promoted tax schemes, you should check the IRS Dirty Dozen list.

Some items on the Dirty Dozen list involve fraud, such as identity theft through “spearphishing.” Other items involve tax credits or deductions, such as conservation easements, that can be legitimate but have been prone to abuse by taxpayers in the IRS’s view.

Dirty Dozen = Red Flag

The Dirty Dozen gives you red flags that trigger IRS scrutiny and can result in aggressive enforcement action against taxpayers who claim such deductions or credits and those who promote them.

When you see a new item on the Dirty Dozen list, especially if it’s at the top, you know it’s something the IRS is particularly interested in. A case in point is the employee retention credit (ERC). It didn’t make it to the list until 2023, and then the IRS placed it at the top.

The top position tells you that combating fraudulent ERC claims is a high priority for the IRS. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t claim the ERC if you’re entitled to it. Just make sure you have all the necessary records in case of an audit.

As part of its Dirty Dozen awareness effort, the IRS encourages members of the public to report individuals who promote improper and abusive tax schemes as well as tax return preparers who deliberately prepare improper returns. The IRS also created an Office of Promoter Investigations in 2021 to identify and stop promoters and enablers of abusive tax avoidance transactions.

Employing a strategy or scheme on the Dirty Dozen list makes an audit more likely. It can also result in substantial tax penalties if an audit occurs and the IRS concludes that taxes were underpaid due to the use of the strategy. The strategy being on the Dirty Dozen list can make it difficult to avoid the penalties the IRS can impose on

  • taxpayers,
  • tax preparers, and
  • promoters.

Taxpayers can avoid the accuracy-related penalty if they establish that they had reasonable cause for the underpayment and acted in good faith. But it is challenging, if not impossible, for taxpayers to demonstrate that they acted in good faith when they adopt a strategy or scheme listed in the IRS’s Dirty Dozen.

Tax Deductions for Small Business Owners:

Ken Weinberg, Enrolled Agent and tax reduction specialist works with many clients who are small business owners. If you are looking for tax reduction strategies that will NOT get you in trouble with the IRS, contact Ken-Mar Tax. 440-777-2207.


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Small Business Tax Services

As an expert in small business tax services and tax consulting Ken-Mar Tax eats, sleeps and breathes small business tax strategies.  Being an enrolled agent allows founder, Ken Weinberg, to represent you to the IRS - something only a CPA, tax attorney and Enrolled Agent can do. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. It also means he is continuously being updated on the new IRS tax codes and taking classes from the IRS that provide guidance on how to file returns so that they are not "flagged."

When you get your taxes prepared by Ken Mar Tax you also have the option to purchase the Tax Audit Protection Plan to avoid the extra costs of paying for audit representation. If you are audited by the IRS, State of Ohio or local taxing authorities, Ken-Mar Tax will meet with the taxing authorities on your behalf to negotiate a settlement for you. The fee covers all costs up to the Appeals level, including up to 15 hours of correspondence with the auditing party – either the IRS, State of Ohio or locality.

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