The Internal Revenue Service has rolled out its annual list of the 12 most blatant tax return scams. Topping the "Dirty Dozen" are fraudulent claims for the one-time Telephone Excise Tax refund. Also new to the list this year are abuses pertaining to:* Roth IRAs. Taxpayers should be wary of advisors who encourage them to shift under-valued property to these IRAs. In one variation, a promoter has the taxpayer move under-valued common stock into a Roth IRA, circumventing the annual maximum contribution limit and allowing otherwise taxable income to go untaxed.

* Disguised corporate ownerships. Domestic shell corporations and other entities are being formed and operated in certain states for the purpose of disguising the ownership of the business or financial activity. Once formed, these anonymous entities are being used to facilitate underreporting of income, non-filing of tax returns and other illegal activities.

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