Tax Scams

Don’t buy a vehicle from a “Curbstoner”

OK, so what, precisely, is a Curbstoner?

Here’s some background:

You know that place on your commute that always has a bunch of cars for sale? the patch of waste ground by the stoplights?

That’s almost certainly a curbstone site. Curbstoners are unlicensed vehicle dealers, called as such because they tend to park a selection of cars for sale in popular areas along the curbstones. They operate in this way because a private sale of a vehicle is not covered by the legal restrictions that a dealer must abide by.

You’ll run into yet another headache when trying to get quotes, as the insurance company will have to look deep into the vehicles history, and if the scam has something to do with who legally owns the vehicle the consequences could fall on you. These iffy car sellers will never tell you the full story, but once money has changed hands there’s no going back to them for help. For exactly that reason they may hide certain things from you that could affect you severely shortly down the line.

Why are they bad?

Several reasons:
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IRS Lists it’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ Tax Scams

Hiding income in offshore accounts, identity theft, return preparer fraud, and filing false or misleading tax forms top the annual list of “dirty dozen” tax scams in 2011, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

“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.”

The IRS works with the Justice Department to pursue and shut down perpetrators of these and other illegal scams. Promoters frequently end up facing heavy fines and imprisonment. Meanwhile, taxpayers who wittingly or unwittingly get involved with these schemes must repay all taxes due plus interest and penalties.

Following is the Dirty Dozen for 2011:

Hiding Income Offshore

The IRS aggressively pursues taxpayers involved in abusive offshore transactions as well as the promoters, professionals and others who facilitate or enable these schemes. Taxpayers have tried to avoid or evade U.S. income tax by hiding income in offshore banks, brokerage accounts or through the use of nominee entities. Taxpayers also evade taxes by using offshore debit cards, credit cards, wire transfers, foreign trusts, employee-leasing schemes, private annuities or insurance plans. (more…)