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Pepperdine University School of Law

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Taxpayer ID Theft Has Increased 400% in 2 Years; IRS Apologizes to 3 Victims

The House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform yesterday held a hearing on IRS E-File and Identity Theft. Jim White (Director of Strategic Issues, Government Accountability Office) testified at the hearing, Status of IRS Initiatives to Help Victimized Taxpayers (GAO-11-721T):

My testimony today will cover (1) when IRS detects identity theft-based refund and employment fraud, (2) the steps IRS has taken to resolve, detect, and prevent innocent taxpayers’ identity theft-related problems, (3) constraints that hinder IRS’s ability to address these issues, and (4) the potential for more rigorous screening to prevent refund or employment fraud now and in the future. ...

The number of tax-related identity theft incidents (primarily refund or employment fraud attempts) identified by IRS has grown:

  • 51,702 incidents in 2008
  • 169,087 incidents in 2009
  • 248,357 incidents in 2010.

After three victims of identity theft at the hands of the IRS testified (Lori PetracoLavonda Thompson, and Sharon Hawa), IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman apologized in his testimony.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/06/taxpayer-identity-theft-.html

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