IRS Dirty Dozen

What is the Dirty Dozen?

The IRS is promoting their yearly Dirty Dozen list, which lays out common scams that honest taxpayers need to be aware of to prevent from falling prey. The IRS releases one of 12 common tax scams off of the list daily. The annual list of schemes and scams is aimed to raise awareness to protect taxpayers from false promoters and con artists. The scams and schemes highlighted tend to put taxpayers at risk for identity theft or in a financial crisis. See below for the 2023 Dirty Dozen tips. 

Employee Retention Credit

Sticky notes on a desk labeled "employee retention"


Taking number one on the Dirty Dozen tax scam list is the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). There have been attempts to scam taxpayers by conning ineligible people and businesses to claim the credit.

Dirty Dozen Tip 1

Phishing and Smishing

Cartoon image of a laptop computer being hooked to a fishing line


Coming in at number two on the IRS Dirty Dozen list is scammers using email and text messaging to trick people, more commonly known as phishing and smishing.

Dirty Dozen Tip 2

Scammers Offering Help

Individual ready to start filing taxes on paper


The third Dirty Dozen tip from the IRS warns taxpayers about scammers offering “help” setting up an Online Account at Falling into this trap will put taxpayers at risk for identity theft.

Dirty Dozen Tip 3

Promoters of False Fuel Tax Credit Claims

Five semi trucks lined up filling up with gasoline at fuel pumps


Number four on the 2023 Dirty Dozen list of tax scams comes with warnings of third-party promoters of false fuel tax credit claims. 

Dirty Dozen Tip 4

Beware of Fake Charities

Cartoon image of a hand putting money into a charity box with the money falling out the bottom into a "scammers pocket" box

Number five on the Dirty Dozen list for 2023 is warnings of scammers creating fake charities to exploit taxpayers.

Dirty Dozen Tip 5

Carefully Choose a Tax Preparer

Calculator displaying "tax help" on the screen

The sixth Dirty Dozen tip from the IRS reminds taxpayers to carefully choose their tax preparers.

Dirty Dozen Tip 6

Think Twice Before Taking Advice On Social Media

Street post with social media icons ``2

The seventh day of the Dirty Dozen warns taxpayers to think twice before taking advice on social media that could lure them into compromising tax situations.

Dirty Dozen Tip 7

Be Aware of Spearphishing

Spear piercing through laptop computer in water

Coming in at number eight on the dirty dozen list the IRS is urging tax professionals and other businesses to be aware of spearphishing emails.

Dirty Dozen Tip 8

Offer in Compromise (OIC)

Offer In Compromise paperwork

Taking number nine of the Dirty Dozen list provided by the IRS is watching out for Offer in Compromise (OIC).

Dirty Dozen Tip 9

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts and Monetized Installment Sales

Tax savings cartoon, man hiding assets from the IRS

The tenth dirty dozen tip from the IRS: Watch out for schemes aimed at high-income filers.

Dirty Dozen Tip 10

Bogus Tax Avoidance Strategies

Captive Insurance brainstorming graphic

Number 11 on the IRS Dirty Dozen list is to beware of abusive tax avoidance schemes.

Dirty Dozen Tip 11

Schemes with International Elements

Tax folder

Closing out the Dirty Dozen list this year the IRS is highlighting bogus tax avoidance strategies, also known as small or micro-captive insurance arrangements.

Dirty Dozen Tip 12