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Identity Theft for Tax Purposes?

According to statistics in from the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft  for the purpose of obtaining government documents/benefits came in second by 1%, behind credit card fraud in total identity theft cases.  On May 25, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson reported that despite major improvements by the IRS, they are still seeing unprecedented levels of identity theft.The most common scheme is to steal the social security number of individuals with no filing requirements such as children, the elderly, and the deceased, to obtain refunds.  This year, the IRS received 660,000 fraudulent returns using a deceased person’s social security number.   Besides filing fraudulent returns to receive a refund, the IRS has found an increasing number of these returns filed by illegal aliens who used stolen social security numbers to gain employment.  Using a stolen security number to file a tax return doesn’t initially invalidate the return; if the return meets the criteria for a valid return, a statue of limitations for assessment will begin.  For more facts and resources on identity theft visit:

http://www.identitytheft.gov/

Or

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/data.shtm

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