Identity thieves steal tax refund and have become a major concern for the IRS. After going through all the tedious procedure of filing tax, getting the return check stolen, is highly disappointing. Tax related identity theft is growing day by day and has turned out to be the topmost complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. In 2010, about 15% of all identity theft complaints to the FTC were related to tax returns, but in 2013, the percentage hiked to 43%.
Chairman and founder of Identity Theft 911, Adam Levin, said that this crime is lucrative and is easy to commit. To check the crime,a Social Security number and some counterfeit documents is required. It is also possible to restrict this crime by filing early which would allow the IRS to process the return before the identity thieves can do any harm.
Steve Toporoff, who is the coordinator of the Identity Protection Program at the FTC, explained that the identity thieves usually do not get hold of W-2 forms, and they just generate income numbers with a hope that their phony return gets through the process. And if they are successful, the IRS computers will show that you were already paid and your legitimate return will be dismissed and refund will be denied. The taxpayer may, eventually, get the money, but as per the IRS, a typical case can take around 180 days to resolve.
The IRS is implementing new steps and taking strong actions to protect taxpayers and support victims of identity theft and refund fraud. The agency has more than 3,000 employees working on identity theft issues and more than 35,000 employees have been trained to recognize return fraud.
To create awareness to prevent identity thefts, seminars, webinars, text chats and other special events are being organized all across the country.