In the past several years, the number of incidents of related to consumers’ tax returns has surged, and there seems to be little the Internal Revenue Service can do about it. Now, some experts say that a major reason for this increase in fraud could be the result of the agency’s e-filing option.
The ability to submit one’s taxes online is a major convenience for both Americans across the country who may fret every filing season, as well as the IRS itself, which can handle the hundreds of millions of submissions it receives every year more expediently, according to . But all that ease of use can also pose a major problem for taxpayers because it opens the door for identity thieves to more quickly get in and out of the system when they try to commit fraud.
Tax season used to be simple for David Parker. His accountant electronically filed taxes for his businesses and investments, and the refund arrived promptly in the mail.
But in the past few years, fraudsters have hit Parker again and again, despite IRS efforts to resolve the problem.
Parker is among a growing number of taxpayers who are becoming repeat victims of tax-related identity theft. “It’s a pattern we’re seeing on the rise,” said Brett Montgomery, a team leader in IDentity Theft 911’s Fraud Resolution Center. “The IRS investigation process takes so long to run its course that victims are getting hit year after year. It’s a vicious cycle.”
Identity thieves who have fallen on hard times, take heart. The IRS is here to help.
If you’re counting on that big tax refund to cover the bills and upgrade your gear to steal debit card numbers and hack into computer systems, this is your year.
The IRS may have delivered to you and your compadres who took the initiative to file fraudulent tax returns in 2011, according to Treasury Department investigators.
Keep your nose to the grindstone, and you’ll see a windfall in the next five years, when an estimated $21 billion could head your way, according to The Associated Press.
Taxpayers have another reason to be frustrated with the Internal Revenue Service: Late refunds due to widespread identity theft.
The delayed refunds are a result of the IRS’s work to fight identity-theft-related tax fraud, according to the . Though that means the agency’s efforts are paying off, the downside is a delay for many people of low- to moderate-income who anticipate the funds to pay bills.
The bad guys have a new favorite way to steal your identity.
Used to be crooks snagged a Social Security number to open a credit card and run up charges. Now they’ve found an easier way to make money, according to the , the Federal Trade Commission’s annual report on consumer complaints.
Tax scams abound during tax filing season. Taxpayers can steer clear of trouble by watching for these telltale signs that identity thieves have targeted them.
Meeting the April 17 income tax deadline might be the least of your worries.
In recent years, the IRS has seen a significant increase in the number of involving identity theft, according to Steven Miller, IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement.
Tax fraud through identity theft can prevent an innocent taxpayer from getting a refund and may cause the IRS to take “adverse enforcement” against him for not filing properly, Miller said.
Jack Baldwin*, a founder and former CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, learned about it the hard way.