Friday, June 3, 2011

Congressman, IRS working to stop tax ID theft

Congressman, IRS working to stop tax ID theft

A tax fraud issue that affects thousands of taxpayers in the U.S. is finally getting some attention in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida gathered with victims and IRS officials at a hearing on identity theft and tax fraud last week, which Nelson says will help lay the groundwork for Congressional action on the issue.
“Victims of tax-related identity theft are the casualties of a system ill-equipped to deal with the growing proficiency and sophistication of today’s tax scam artists,” he said.
Nelson said the ease of electronic filing, combined with the option of using debit cards for refunds and the low risk of criminal penalties has created what he calls the “perfect crime.”
Thousands of people each year file complaints stating that someone used their personal information to file a tax return. An IRS official who attended the meeting with Nelson reported that the agency has identified more than 400,000 confirmed incidents of identity theft since 2008. The agent also reported that during the 2009 tax filing season, approximately $15 million in fraudulent refunds were issued.
The IRS has said it takes the issue seriously, but has difficulty dealing with it because the scammers are so savvy.
One program put into action in order to combat theft is a pilot program that provided PIN numbers to about 56,000 taxpayers who are victims of identity theft. The numbers are to be used to file their tax returns and will, theoretically, prevent theft. The results of the program will be available in September.
Another option the IRS is considering is eliminating the e-file option, since this is an all-too-easy route for identity thieves to access. No decision has been made to date.

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment