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“Despite efforts by the Internal Revenue Service to target tax cheaters — the agency last week said it prevented $20 billion in would-be fraudulent refunds in 2012, up from $14 billion the year before — tax-related identity fraud is on the rise. The IRS Identity Theft Protection Specialized Unit received nearly 450,000 cases of identity theft last year, up 78% from 2011. “This is a major problem, and it can tarnish just about every aspect of your life, ” says Michelle Wynn, a tax attorney with IRS Medic.”

Read the whole story by Jonelle Marte “Stolen Tax Refund? What to do next”

  1. Can the IRS really keep up? I think not. Refunds are gold. And the gold-thieves get more elaborate.

    Here's one recent conviction: How many more are there? Because the incentives are there. You can get a lot more form the IRS than by robbing a bank and because the crime in non-violent, if you are caught, the penalties are smaller as compared to someone who robs a bank.

    The solution? Stop mandatory withholding. Make tax day a bad day when people instead of getting money back, they have to fork over their hard-earned money. The refunds are smaller, and the incentives for refund theft are gone…almost.

    What also needs to go away is paying people money for not working.

    Until then, we are just going to me more and more theft of refunds because it is totally worth it. Why rob a bank of what $20,000 and face 20 years in prison if caught , when in order to steal the same amount, you only need to submit about 10 fraudulent returns.

    Just one more reason the income tax has been a miserable failure these past 100 years.

  2. Identity theft is a form of stealing someone’s identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person’s name. The victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if they are held accountable for the perpetrator’s actions. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another’s personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.’`’..

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