The filing of fraudulent tax returns using another person’s Social Security number has increased in recent years. Now, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for ways to cut down on this new form of identity theft and protect those who try to file their taxes properly under their own Social Security numbers.
According to the IRS, tax refund fraud often follows a pattern: a tax return is filed using someone’s name and Social Security number along with fake tax information that shows the person is entitled to a refund. The IRS sends the refund to the address or bank account listed on the form. When the actual owner of the Social Security number files his or her genuine tax returns, the IRS’s systems show that a tax return has already been filed and a refund paid under that Social Security number.
Sorting out whose tax return is the genuine one and who owes money to whom can take months or even years. In some cases, the person who genuinely owns the Social Security number might even be suspected temporarily of being the fraudster.
The IRS says it isn’t sure how big the actual tax refund fraud problem is. This year, it is connecting people who may have been affected by fraud with a counselor at the IRS, who helps them work through the paperwork and establish their identities. The agency also says that it has blocked more than 229,000 returns it finds suspicious.
Being charged with any federal crime can have serious consequences, and tax-related crimes are no exception. If you’re facing charges for identity theft or another felony, an experienced Colorado Springs felony defense attorney at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can help. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at (719) 475-2555.