IRS and Tax-Related Crime: It Is Not Over Yet

Tax ScamsThe Internal Revenue Service Commissioner, John Koskinen, announced an improvement in dealing with the identity theft and consequent tax fraud at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants National Tax Conference, which was held in Washington, DC in November 2014. However, this issue, which exploded in 2010 – 2012, still remains a significant problem. According to Mr. Koskinen the IRS eliminated the majority of amateurs, but still needs to deal with organized crime.

Over 1,500 criminals are already in jail and about 1,000 others have been accused of involvement in fraudulent tax return schemes, with Florida, Georgia and District of Columbia being the largest areas of tax fraud. Therefore, IRS authorities believe that this task is far from being finished, although it is now under some level of control and is not growing exponentially, as it used to.

The Commissioner shared his plans to improve the IRS computer system, which will supposedly help to develop better strategies to catch fraudulent returns. He has also advised Congress to change the deadline for filing W-2 forms by employers. Mr. Koskinen is sure that this is a necessary measure, which will allow the IRS more time to carefully check returns before paying off the requested refunds. However, developing better strategies is challenging without proper funding, according to the IRS Commissioner.

In a meantime, 20/20 Tax Resolution would like to remind American taxpayers to remain vigilant and not to share any personal information over the phone, even if the people who call introduce themselves as IRS employees. If you receive a call like that, the best way to deal with it is to obtain the caller’s contact information, including the IRS ID, name, address, phone, and fax number, and confirm it with the IRS before discussing any tax issues over the phone. If you recently received any IRS notices, you can dial the number indicated on these documents, or call the IRS general 1040 office at 1-800-829-1040.

If you became a victim of a tax fraud, don’t wait – call the IRS Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration at 1(800)-366-4484, or send an email with detailed description of your problem at http://www.tigta.gov.

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