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Some crooks get creative over time, but they have the same ploy: Deceive people into thinking they are getting rich overnight.

That’s generally how it works with tax scams, only a old tool is employed: Selling investments that promise outlandish tax breaks. Here are three swindles based on that kind of pitch, according to the IRS:

Syndicated conservation easements

In syndicated conservation easements promoters take a provision of tax law for conservation easements and twist it through using inflated appraisals of undeveloped land and partnerships. These abusive arrangements are designed to game the system and generate inflated and unwarranted tax deductions, often by using inflated appraisals of undeveloped land and partnerships devoid of a legitimate business purpose. More information can be found at IRS increases enforcement action on Syndicated Conservation Easements.

Abusive micro-captive arrangements

In abusive “micro-captive” structures, promoters, accountants or wealth planners persuade owners of closely held entities to participate in schemes that lack many of the attributes of insurance. For example, coverages may “insure” implausible risks, fail to match genuine business needs or duplicate the taxpayer’s commercial coverages. But the “premiums” paid under these arrangements are often excessive and used to skirt tax law. Additional information can be found at IRS offers settlement for micro-captive insurance schemes; letters being mailed to groups under audit.

Potentially abusive use of the US-Malta tax treaty

Some U.S. citizens and residents are relying on an interpretation of the U.S.-Malta Income Tax Treaty (Treaty) to take the position that they may contribute appreciated property tax free to certain Maltese pension plans and that there are also no tax consequences when the plan sells the assets and distributes proceeds to the U.S. taxpayer. Ordinarily gain would be recognized upon disposition of the plan’s assets and distributions of the proceeds. 

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Source: Forbes

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