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All Press Releases for February 01, 2013 »
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Theft of Tax Refunds is on the Rise

The government is cracking down on the allegedly increasing occurrence of tax fraud and identity theft in the form of tax return theft.
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    February 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A recent government report indicates that the number of tax refunds being stolen is increasing at an alarming rate. This type of theft occurs when a person steals another's identity and then uses the stolen identity to file a fraudulent tax return and collect a refund. According to a report issued by the United States Government Accountability Office, or GAO, there has been a striking 62 percent increase in the amount of tax fraud being used to steal refunds in 2012 from the previous year.

Tax fraud and identity theft

This combination of tax fraud and identity theft is somewhat difficult for the IRS to trace, and last year alone it is suspected that at least $754 million in tax refunds were paid to suspicious sources. The GAO knows of approximately 642,000 fraudulent cases from 2012.

Stealing another person's identity can be accomplished rather easily, by finding a person's Social Security card, hacking into another's computer, obtaining bank account information or numbers, finding misplaced paper records or even getting personal information over the phone. Once the information has been gathered, the thieves file a tax return for the person and collect money from the IRS that is not rightfully theirs.

It is difficult for authorities to catch the culprits of these crimes due to the fact that it is hard to track down how many individuals are involved in these types of operations. The victims of these crimes are often left without any refund at all because their refund has already been claimed.

The IRS is working hard to catch the people who are responsible for stealing tax refunds and is looking into new ways to detect and prevent this type of tax fraud. One method the IRS is pursuing uses a computer software program that scans tax forms for irregularities.

The importance of good counsel

People who are charged with tax fraud or identity theft face serious penalties if convicted. They can possibly be sentenced to serve time in jail and may have to pay stiff fines and restitution. In addition, anyone convicted of a crime will have criminal record that will always be with them. This can makes it more difficult for them to find a job or secure housing in the future. If you have been charged with a crime, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Article provided by Randolph L. Goldman
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