IRS steps up efforts to fight ID-theft tax fraud
The IRS on Thursday pledged to provide swifter help to hundreds of thousands of frustrated Americans victimized by tax fraud through identity theft.
“I want you to know that we understand your frustration, and we're working hard to get your cases resolved as quickly as we can,” acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller said as he announced the federal tax agency's latest efforts to combat the fast-rising crime.
It won't be easy.
The IRS caseload — involving victims whose stolen Social Security numbers were used by thieves to collect unwarranted tax refunds — soared to 449,809 in 2012, up more than 80 percent from the previous year, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson reported to Congress last month.
Victims routinely need to wait more than six months and speak to multiple IRS employees before their issues are resolved, reported Olson, who heads an independent office within the IRS.
The IRS resolved more than 500,000 identity-theft cases during the last calendar year, but still has just under 300,000 similar cases pending, Miller said.
“We still are challenged by our inventory, and folks are waiting longer than they should expect to,” he said. “This is going to improve over the next year.”
The IRS as of late 2012 had more than 3,000 employees working on identity theft-related issues, more than double the 2011 count, Miller said. An additional 35,000 employees have been trained to aid victims and help taxpayers recognize identity theft indicators, he said.
After absorbing federal budget cuts during the past two fiscal years, the IRS has reassigned workers from other jobs to help with identity theft response.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New heart drug seen as significant breakthrough
- Border Patrol agent opens fire on armed militia member in Texas
- Pilot in Atlantic Ocean crash lost consciousness, Coast Guard says
- Texas appeals judge’s ruling on restrictive abortion law
- Manatee status as ‘endangered’ draws complaints; classification under review
- Revival of beer gardens in Milwaukee prompts other cities to consider it to shore up budgets
- Squashing stereotypes has women learning carpentry
- California governor appeals ruling that struck down schoolteacher tenure
- Half-ton alligator sets world record
- Next hurdle for health care likely tax season
- Ambassador: Britain close to identifying Foley’s killer