A Treasury Department watchdog said in a report released April 9 that the IRS must do more to combat tax fraud identity theft, asserting that the IRS rarely pursues or prosecutes fraudulent tax returns filed by identity thieves.
Yesterday I posted about how tax fraud identity theft is on the rise. To make things worse, J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, said the IRS does not do enough to prosecute those who use Social Security numbers to illegally gain fraudulent tax returns or gain employment.
Although the IRS has tried to stem identity theft through public outreach programs, critics say the IRS is failing to protect taxpayers from identity theft.
According to the report, the agency rarely recommends identity theft cases for prosecution. Of 2,720 prosecution recommendations made by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in fiscal year 2006, 55 involved identity theft.
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson testified that while the IRS response to identity fraud has improved greatly, it is still difficult to quantify how many Americans have suffered tax-related identity theft. Although the IRS has begun to track incidents of identity theft, she believes that there are many more cases of identity theft than the IRS may be estimating.
No related posts.