Tax Updates March 29

Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

The IRS has begun their Dirty Dozen tax scam series, warning individuals and businesses about popular schemes and scams targeting taxpayers. Information to help recognize a scam, and steps to take for those who have been targeted or have fallen prey to such predators. The first six scams to be aware of are:

  • Employee Retention Credit scams, being aggressively promoted by scammers, misleading people and businesses into thinking they can claim these credits, when there are very specific guidelines around these pandemic-era credits.
  • Email and text message scams: Phishing and Smishing, messages from fraudsters claiming to be from the IRS or other legitimate organizations, offering phony tax refunds or making legal threats.
  • “Help” setting up online IRS account, putting taxpayers at risk of identity theft by third party “helpers.”
  • Fuel Tax Credit scams, promoted by scammers promising a large refund, and charging a fee and sometimes committing identity theft. The fuel tax credit is meant for off-highway business and farming use, and not available to most taxpayers.
  • Fake charity scams, where fraudsters impersonate organizations dedicated to providing relief to victims of emergencies or disasters in order to dupe good-hearted donors into giving up cash or personal information. 
  • Unscrupulous tax preparers: The IRS offers important tips to find trustworthy and legitimate tax professionals, and red flags to be aware of.

Answers About Nutrition and Wellness Expenses 

The IRS has posted frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding whether certain costs related to nutrition, wellness, and general health are medical expenses that can be reimbursed under a health savings account (HSA) or other similar arrangement. Generally, a deduction is allowed for expenses paid for medical care if certain requirements are met. Alternatively, medical expenses are eligible to be paid or reimbursed under an HSA, health flexible spending arrangement (FSA), Archer medical savings account (Archer MSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). The FAQs address whether the cost of weight-loss programs, gym memberships and other expenses are considered medical expenses that can be paid or reimbursed under any of these arrangements. 

Where’s My Refund? Tool

The IRS reminds taxpayers that the Where’s My Refund? tool on is the most convenient and efficient way to check the status of their refund. IRS2Go, the mobile app, offers another way for users to check their refund status. Taxpayers must enter their Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of their expected refund. The tool is updated once a day, usually overnight.