IRS Announces Major Progress Made in Battle against Tax-Related Identity Theft

IRS Announces Major Progress Made in Battle against Tax-Related Identity Theft

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On April 8, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Security Summit partners announced that results from 2018 show major progress in the battle against tax-related identity theft along with added protection for thousands of taxpayers and billions of dollars, according to a news release from the IRS.

IRS Tax-Related Identity Theft

The IRS, state tax agencies, and private-sector tax industry joint initiatives caused fewer fraudulent tax returns entering tax processing systems, fewer identity theft returns being stopped, fewer bad refunds being issued, and fewer Americans identifying themselves as victims of tax-related identity theft.

The Security Summit partners established the Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IDTTRF-ISAC) to detect and prevent identity theft tax refund fraud and the results improved immediately. Here are key 2018 indicators and how they compare to the 2015 base year:

  • Between 2015 and 2018, the number of taxpayers reporting they were identity theft victims fell 71 percent.
  • Between 2015 and 2018, the number of confirmed identity theft returns stopped by the IRS declined by 54 percent.
  • Between 2015 and 2018, the IRS protected a combined $24 billion in fraudulent refunds by stopping the confirmed identity theft returns.
  • Between 2015 and 2018, financial industry partners recovered an additional $1.4 billion in fraudulent refunds.

“The IRS and the Security Summit continue to make tremendous inroads in the battle against identity theft,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated in the news release about the results. “In 2018, our partnership protected more taxpayers and more tax dollars from tax-related identity theft.”

The number of businesses being victims of tax-related identity theft increased by 10 percent in 2018 as compared to 2017, with 2,450 reports compared to 2,233 reports. Following the success in protecting individual taxpayers, the Security Summit enacted similar protections against business identity theft.

The Security Summit consists of the IRS, state tax agencies, and the tax community that includes tax preparation firms, payroll and tax financial product processors, tax professional organizations, and financial institutions. More information about tax-related identity theft is at IRS.gov/identitytheft.

The IRS highlighted one tax scam on 12 consecutive weekdays to help raise awareness to help protect taxpayers against these and other threats. Phishing schemes were the first of the 2019 IRS “Dirty Dozen” scams. To see the rest of the “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams, visit www.irs.gov/newsroom/dirty-dozen.

IRS Tax-Related Identity Theft Just One Type of Identity Theft

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – is certified to protect consumer information used for background checks against all types of identity theft. To read more ESR News Blogs about tax-related identity theft, visit www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/identity-theft/.

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