On 2/19/2014, the IRS published its annual list of prevalent tax scams that taxpayers may encounter. The list covers a broad range of schemes including identity theft, phone scams, phishing, and return preparer fraud. Although these types of tax scams may be used at any time of year, the IRS has noted that this type of fraudulent activity peaks during the spring filing season. The Dirty Dozen list reminds taxpayers to use caution when preparing their returns and makes them aware of which patterns indicate criminal behavior. News Release IR 2014-16 .