Unfortunately, not everything you spend your money on gives rise to a tax deduction. Most of your personal expenses, such as food, clothing, and recreation, are nondeductible items. The tax law also specifically bans certain write-offs. Of course, in some cases, while a deduction may be banned as a general rule, there may be circumstances under which it becomes deductible (so check throughout the book for exceptions to the general rule).
The IRS has identified a number of scams (the IRS calls them the “Dirty Dozen”) in which sharp promoters incorrectly advise taxpayers to claim certain types of write-offs. Here are some types of situations that the IRS has over the years cautioned taxpayers against:
Pervasive telephone scams. Callers pretend to be from the IRS in order to steal money or identities. If you know you don't owe money (i.e., you never received a bill from the IRS), don't respond. Instead, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 to report the call.
Phishing. Scammers purporting to be from the IRS send e-mails seeking to obtain personal information used for identity theft. The ...