Watch Out For Tax Filing Season Identify Theft & Scams
The IRS is on heightened alert for identity theft as the filing season unfolds.
Typically, identity thieves file fraudulent returns early in the filing season to claim bogus refunds. When taxpayers file their genuine returns, they learn that their identities have been stolen. To prevent return fraud, the IRS has upgraded its return processing filters. These filters flag suspect returns before refunds are issued. Between 2011 and 2013, the IRS reported that its filters flagged 14.6 million suspicious returns and prevented over $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.
Individuals who believe they have been victims of identity theft should immediately alert the IRS. The IRS is assigning special identity protection personal identification numbers (IP PINs) to victims of identity theft. Use of an IP PIN alerts the IRS that the taxpayer is the rightful filer of the return.
The IRS is also warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for telephone and internet scams. Typically, victims are told they owe money to the IRS and must pay immediately using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS never contacts taxpayers by email and never demands payment by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
If you have any questions about identity theft and ways to protect your personal information, please contact Warady & Davis LLP at (847) 267-9600. Identity theft is a growing problem. In 2013, the IRS initiated nearly 1,500 identity theft related criminal investigations, an increase of 66 percent over investigations initiated in 2012.
For comprehensive information on the IRS’ “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014; Identity Theft, Phone Scams and more, visit www.IRS.Gov.
In coming weeks, the IRS will update taxpayers on the progress of the filing season and Warady & Davis LLP will keep you posted. As always, please contact us if you have any questions or comments.
Visit www.waradydavis.com for Tax Legislation and Other Updates.
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