Beware of Refund Fraud, the IRS and Delayed Refunds in 2017

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In 2016, the Security Summit met again to review the effect of their efforts on the 2016 tax season.

According to IRS Commissioner Koskinen the results included the following:

1.   For the period of January through April 2016

 The IRS stopped $1.1 BILLION in fraudulent refunds claimed on more than 171,000 tax returns filed by identity thieves.

2.   Leads reported by industry partners allowed the IRS to suspend for further review 36,000 suspicious returns filed between January through May 8, 2016 claiming $148 million in refunds.

That was twice the amount for the same period in 2015! If tax industry partners hadn’t flagged the returns they most likely would have passed through the IRS processing filters. That saved a whole lot of US taxpayer dollars!

3.   Since January of 2016, the IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance Program experienced a drop of 48% of affidavits filed by identity theft victims.

4.   Banks and other financial institutions return suspicious refunds to the IRS.

In 2016, those returned refunds dropped by 66%.

These are just a few of the ways that the IRS and its Summit partners were able to reduce the fraudulent refund claims in 2016. They are planning even more aggressive efforts for the 2017 tax season.

What’s next? In the next article we’ll answer the question So what is happening in 2017 to head off fraud?

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