Saturday, November 17, 2012
In 2011, more than 842,000 taxpayers took advantage of this “split refund” option, which the IRS first offered in 2007. They may split their tax refunds between two to three different checking or savings accounts using Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases).
However, TIGTA found that more than 65,300 bank accounts had multiple direct deposits, accounting for more than 949,000 refunds for approximately $1.6 billion. Auditors found that current IRS processes to ensure the accuracy of direct deposit information are not sufficient, which increases fraud potential.
Additionally, the option to split a refund between multiple accounts increases the risk of fraud. ... TIGTA identified more than 4,400 bank accounts listed on tax return preparers’ personal tax returns that had multiple direct deposits. More than 202,000 refunds for more than $309 million were sent to these bank accounts. This raises a concern as to whether tax return preparers are diverting clients’ refunds or portions of refunds to their own bank accounts to pay tax preparation fees or for other reasons.
TIGTA also identified more than 200 bank accounts listed on IRS employees’ tax returns that had multiple direct deposits. More than 10,600 refunds for more than $14 million were sent to these bank accounts.