IRS: More work remains in battle against identity theft

IRS National Taxpayer Advocate

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The Internal Revenue Service reported that it made several steps to expand its identity theft detection/prevention efforts and fraud refund efforts in 2015, and publicly posted about how stopping these crimes is one of its priorities.

A few takeaways from the IRS’ report:

→ From 2011 through October 2014, the IRS stopped 19 million suspicious returns and protected more than $63 billion in fraudulent refunds.

→ Beginning in January 2015, the IRS began limiting the number of direct deposit refunds to a single financial account or pre-paid debit card to three.

→ In fiscal year 2014, the IRS initiated 1,063 identity theft related investigations. Criminal Investigation enforcement efforts resulted in 748 sentencings as compared to 438 in FY 2013, an increase of 75 percent, and the incarceration rate rose 7.1 percent to 87.7 percent. The courts imposed significant jail time with the average months to serve in FY 2014 at 43 months as compared to 38 months in FY 2013 — the longest sentencing being 27 years.

But even the IRS admits that the battle is far from over.

“While the IRS has made considerable progress in this area, more work remains. Fighting identity theft is an ongoing battle as identity thieves continue to create new ways of stealing personal information and using it for their gain. Identity theft cases are among the most complex handled by the IRS. The IRS is continually reviewing processes and policies to minimize the incidence of identity theft and to help those who find themselves victimized.”

This admission, and even the numbers given above, reinforce the need for everyone to get full protection now. Learn more about how TurnKey ID Solutions offers a complete solution and sign-up now for your 14-day FREE trial.