Tax thieves, that don’t hesitate to use stolen personal information to file falsified tax returns and collect fraudulent refunds, are now also stealing money from US health professionals. Both physicians and other medical personnel have become victims of this crime in several US states.
Tax fraud, like a disease, is spreading across the country, affecting more and more people. As of today, over 75 doctors from Connecticut reported identity theft to the IRS. In New Hampshire, Executive VP of the state Medical Society, Mr. Scott Colby, stated that he received claims from more than 100 doctors, physician assistants and nurses who became victims of this crime.
There are also confirmed cases in California, Indiana, North Carolina, and many other states. Hundreds of people could not file their tax returns because the IRS has already received them from someone else and paid off huge refunds to the tax criminals.
The IRS is investigating this problem in close collaboration with the American Medical Association and the Secret Service. There is a belief that what happens was a result of a serious security breach. Some people speculate that this breach might have happened in one of the national organizations responsible for certification of medical professionals.
Tax fraud is not just a problem for those people who have been directly affected by it. US Federal government paid about $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2012. This is money that US taxpayers pay to the IRS in tax obligations; money that could be used for education, health care, veteran’s benefits, etc.
The fact that tax fraud is becoming such a huge problem indicates imperfection of the tax refund system, which leaves potential gaps for dishonest individuals that can be used to steal money from the government and make other people responsible for this theft. Although the IRS has already started making changes in this system, there is still a lot that has to be done to protect American taxpayers.