Expertise Beyond the Numbers

The IRS Fights Back Against Identity Theft Crimes [Blog Post]

SC&H Group’s Tax Services team offers the following blog post that provides an update on how the IRS is addressing the increasing threat of identity theft.

Taxpayer identity theft has become a rampant epidemic, and the volume of cases is continuing to rise at an alarming rate. Over the last few years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has witnessed a significant increase in identity theft cases, especially from organized crime syndicates around the world.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported that 2,416,773 taxpayers were affected by identity theft in 2013, which is nearly ten times the number of victims impacted in 2010. It is believed this number will grow even larger for the 2014 and 2015 tax season.

Fortunately, the IRS has a plan to fight back for the 2016 tax season.

According to this Accounting Today article, to address this serious issue, the IRS met with a group of state tax administrators and tax industry leaders to form a partnership that safeguards and protects the American taxpayers.

The partnership recently had success in identifying and testing more than 20 new data elements on tax return submissions to help detect and prevent identity-theft related filings. The software industry is also putting in place enhanced identity requirements and validation procedures for their customers to protect accounts from identity thieves.

“We’re here to give you an update on the protections we are putting in place for the upcoming filing season to better safeguard taxpayers and the tax system against stolen identity refund fraud,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during a press conference. “As I said before, this is not a battle the IRS can fight alone. Joining me today are representatives of the electronic tax industry, the software industry and the states. These members of our Security Summit group have collaborated with the IRS since day one. We began mapping out a strategy in March and together we have made significant progress in just a few months.”

The IRS says it will have these safeguards in place in time for the 2016 tax-filing season.

The progress has demonstrated how government, the private sector, and the states can work together to fight fraud and reduce risk for the American people.

If you would like to arm yourself with the accounting knowledge and financial details necessary to protect your personal and professional bottom line, please contact SC&H Group’s Tax Services team here.