Tax “cheaters” get creative in 2015

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla — Slithering snakes, creepy clowns, haunted houses and horror movies. All can send chills down even the bravest spine.

But nothing strikes more fear in folks than gettin’ eyeballed by the IRS.

This year, we may get a reprieve, of sorts. 2015 will see a 20 percent drop in tax audits and other income tax investigations.

The enforcement division is operating with 5,000 fewer employees than needed. Budget cuts and staff reductions mean the Internal Revenue Service will be unable to scrutinize tax returns as critically.

And people prepare their taxes, like Karin Cupit, say customers are getting blatantly creative with their 1040s, 1099s and Schedule As.

“Well, we have it daily, pretty unusual things,” Cupit said.

Like claiming more dependents than legally allowed.

“One man wanted to count his ex-wife and his current wife. I said, one wife and one return, that’s all you can do.”

You’d be surprised at the number of people who try to write off “Fluffy” and “Sparky.”

“We open up the stroller and it’s her dog, dressed and in a stroller. We were surprised. And she wanted to claim it on her tax return. She was trying to show us that it was treated as a child so why couldn’t she claim it on the tax return,” Cupit told us.

One man even tried to expense his family vacation according to Culpit.

“He said, oh yes, I went hunting for treasure. So I want to count this as a business. I said, a business? He said yes, we went scuba diving. We went hunting for treasure. So I want to be a treasure hunter. He wanted to count off $7,800.”

Ice cold beers as a “medical expense”, music lessons to correct a child’s overbite, even pasties and perfume for business savvy exotic dancers. Cupit has seen it all.

“Costumes and different things they might use, ummmmm, in their business.”

While tax returns won’t be examined as closely, IRS officials still have zero tolerance for brazen cheaters.

You’ve been forewarned.

 

 

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