Tax & Accounting News
IRS Flagged Over 1 Million 2023 Returns For Identity Fraud
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) flagged over 1 million 2023 tax returns for identity fraud.
A new report issued by the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration shared details about the situation. The document notes that, as of March 2, 2023, approximately 1.1 million tax returns were considered potentially fraudulent -- 12,617 returns had been confirmed fraudulent by the same date.
The refunds owed on these returns is valued at $6.3 billion.
Tax-related identity theft happens when criminals use a taxpayer’s Social Security number and other personally identifying information to file a false return in order to claim that individual's federal income tax refund.
While there is no way to completely eliminate this type of identity fraud, one way to cut down on the risk of being victimized is to make sure that both you and your tax preparer are aware of red flags.
Tax professionals, in particular, should be wary of the following scenarios:
- Multiple clients receiving unexpected IRS letters requesting confirmation that they filed a tax return -- these are generally not legitimate IRS communications
- Receiving IRS e-File confirmation messages for more tax returns than the preparer actually filed
- Computer cursors seemingly moving on their own, which can be a sign of hacking
Furthermore, having a second -- preferably expert -- set of eyes on your tax return is a good idea no matter what.
George Wisniewski, Jr. of G-Wisz It's Tax Time shared his firm's philosophy, "We believe paying extra for the professional is always worth it. The value add that any firm or professional will deliver is invaluable. Your tax return is not just a bunch of numbers and it is so much more."
Wisniewski, Jr. continued, saying, "Everything we do in life has to be with intention and purpose."
Have you ever been the victim of tax-related identity theft?
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Feature Image Credit: Douglas Sacha/Getty Images
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