IRS Steps Up Enforcement On Identity Theft | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The income tax filing season brings out electronic filing, quick loans, refund fraud and identity theft.
"From 2008 to the present we've had a little over 400 thousand cases recognized by the IRS," said IRS Michael Dobzinski.
It happened to Richard and Tarnee Coffey when they filed last year.
"The person had filed a 1040 EZ return using my husband's social security number," said Tarnee Coffey.
The problem of fraudulent income tax returns has gotten so bad, the IRS introduced a new form called Identity Theft affidavit, form 14039.
Josh Barger is a tax expert.
"All they need is your social security numbers," said Barger.
Barger, vice president of tax services at foundation financial group, said today's technology makes the income tax identity theft problem relatively easy.
"As long as the name is spelled correctly and matches the social security number the IRS has on file then they'll process the return," he said. "The address doesn't have to mean anything you could have moved."
Barger said if you're still waiting to file, guard your social security number and leave your social security card in a safe place, not in your wallet.
The IRS meantime has stepped up its enforcement effort.
"This year we have some filters screen process to prevent the fraud from happening to begin with," said Dobzinski.
Unfortunately, most victims discover the problem when they try to file their income tax return.
"As soon as you know something is wrong you need to call them right away," said Barger.
The ID Theft affidavit form is easy to fill out but it puts the burden on the victim to prove his identity.
"The more identifying documents you have to prove who you are the better and quicker your case will be resolved," said Dobzinski.