Photo: Flickr / Ben Dodson
The IRS is battling a surge in identity theft-related tax fraud, due to more taxpayers using web-based resources like its electronic filing service, reports MSNBC’s Allison Linn.
Since all a thief needs to file is the taxpayer’s name, Social Security number and birth date, it’s easy to fudge a return before the victim even begins to round up his job search deductions.
Suzanne Cox, a certified public accountant in Tampa, Fla. told My Fox Tampa Bay that not having a physical person to review tax forms once they’re submitted isn’t helping matters.
“”It’s all done electronically,” Cox said. “You’re pretty much trusting the electronic system to act like a human, which of course we know that it can’t.”
Though the IRS saved more than 262,000 fake returns from being processed in 2011, it still named identity theft the No. 1 crime in its 2012 roundup of dirty dozen scams this week.
Thankfully, the IRS isn’t taking this lying down. Recently it went on a rampage, nabbing 105 identity theft suspects in 23 states and rolled out form 14039 to help victims report identity theft and refund their money.
For more on how the IRS handles identity theft, visit its website at www.IRS.gov/identitytheft.