The Never Ending Thread Feb 25, 2016 19:50:59 GMT -6
Post by stepper on Feb 25, 2016 19:50:59 GMT -6
I'm sure you're right about that, but I don't know anyone else having the problem or who had to cope with filing after someone else successfully filed in their name.
I'm glad they caught the bogus filing, Step. What a nightmare it could have been for you if they hadn't!
I thought so too. Until I looked.
I wonder though, if they can somehow track down the fraudulent filers to prosecute? You'd think there would have to be an address, or bank account listed on the form where the return was supposed to be sent.
From a quick drill - the IRS has 3,000 personnel who work on identity theft issues, and 35,000 who work with taxpayers to recognize identity theft indicators and help people victimized by identity theft.
While they do track down and prosecute some of them, it seems the majority get away with it or at least avoid culpability for filing a false return. Earlier this month CNBC published an article claiming tax fraud would hit 21 Billion dollars by 2016. This is more from their article: "Here's a conspicuous flaw in the system as currently set up: To file a tax return electronically, all someone needs is a name, date of birth and an SSN. The IRS accepts tax filings as soon as Jan. 1, but employers aren't required to submit correct employment information to the agency until March, by which time roughly half of all refunds have been paid out. (For that matter, the IRS doesn't begin matching employer-submitted data to tax returns until the summer.)
By law, the tax-refund system as it is currently constituted amounts to a "pay first, ask questions later" system, said Victor Searcy, director of fraud operations at IDT911, an identity protection and risk services firm in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In other words, an imaginative crook in possession of the three basic items of a person's identity could make up fake W-2 information and submit it, and get the money within 30 days—the amount of time the law says that the agency must refund tax filers.
Some obvious red flags—like multiple checks being sent to one address, or multiple deposits being sent to one account or one debit card—are detected, but often refund checks are mailed to those accounts before they're followed up on within the agency, said Searcy."
What "I" found was that they have an electronic process in place for the purpose of stopping the processing of fraudulent returns. They send you a form letter (a 5071c), you go to their website, prove that you are who you say, and then they ask only one question - did you file yet? You say no and that kills the false return. They won't say what the triggers are that cause them to think it's a faked return - which I understand - but now I believe their system detected a trigger and that's what started all this.
It seems that I am the only one around here. I didn't keep this secret intending to warn others to be careful, but only one person I know (who is in DC) has had a problem and that was last year. It's not something I'd wish on anyone, but I know I'm not the only one. They wouldn't have the extensive computerized process (detect/notify/process or no) if it wasn't a correspondingly costly problem.
With all the OPM records that were hacked, you can't be the only government employee that has had false tax returns filed in your name.