The Internal Revenue Service says that it reduced identity theft related to fraudulent tax returns by nearly half since 2014. According to the agency, investigators prevented thieves from filing almost 1 million fake tax returns in the most recent tax year.
Agency records show that fraudulent filings peaked in 2014, when scammers successfully filed more than three-quarters of a million phony returns. The IRS now flags major discrepancies in taxpayer filings from year to year to help identify potentially fraudulent returns. Preparers must also do more to properly identify filers before submitting their returns. The agency also moved the deadline for employers to file wage data with the IRS. With more timely wage data in hand, the agency can spot problematic returns more easily.
Identity thieves favor the Earned Income Credit, so the agency made changes to its process for handling EIC claims. This year, filers claiming the EIC saw their refunds delayed until at least mid-February. The delay provided more time for the agency to identify both fraudulent filings and identity theft among low income wage earners. The agency also aims to prevent fraudulent filers from misappropriating a filer’s identity.
Ventura Identity Theft Lawyer
Identity theft is always taken seriously, but the federal government actively pursues people who file fraudulent tax returns. If you’re facing an identity theft prosecution, you need the assistance of an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense in Ventura County for more than 30 years. He knows what it takes to defend his clients successfully. If you’re facing criminal charges, make the right choice for yourself by hiring an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County identity theft case.
Photo Credit: Michael Seery, via FreeImages.com