Identity theft continues to make life tough
for the IRS. This tax season, the IRS is struggling against the onslaught of fraudulent
tax returns. In spite of the agency’s efforts to limit identity theft, it still
remains a challenge for the IRS. In the just first six months of 2013, 1.6
million taxpayers became victims of identity theft. Compare this to the 271,000
identity theft victims for the entire year in 2010. Considering these statistics,
the IRS loses billions of dollars in tax refund fraud every year in spite of
its efforts against identity theft.
To inform taxpayers about identity fraud,
the IRS issues important alerts, especially during the tax season. Yet the ease
with which identity thieves can conduct the crime is making it difficult for
the IRS to curb it. It was reported last year that many drug dealers turned to
identity theft because it was lucrative, simple and did not involve violence.
As tax season progresses, many identity
thieves have been identified and arrested. Yet, fraudulent tax returns are
reaching the IRS every day. “This is something that is becoming absolutely
rampant throughout the country,” said Joy Cuffee, the IRS’ spokeswoman for the
agency’s criminal investigators.
It is not only hardened criminals that are
committing identity theft. People who seem the most unlikely to commit crime
have been found guilty of identity theft. In one recent case, a shop owner in
Southeast Washington was found guilty being a prominent part of an identity
theft ring that submitted fraudulent tax returns worth more than $20 million in
fake tax refunds. Their targets were mostly drug addicts, prisoners, and people
Even after the IRS’ efforts to stop
fraudulent tax returns from getting cleared, if the criminals who file those
returns are not caught, this tax crime will stay and grow. This tax season has
showed that identity theft is as widespread as it was the last year.
Labels: Identity Theft, IRS, Tax Filing, Tax News, Tax Refunds, Tax Scams, Taxpayers