Tax-related identity theft is the number one item on the IRS’s roster of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams, the Service has announced. The Dirty Dozen roster is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter, especially during the filing season. The IRS reported that it has made significant progress over the past several years to address tax scams. Tax-related identity theft remains a top concern as the IRS works with states and the tax industry to protect taxpayers and help victims.
“Our collaborative efforts with the Security Summit have given the IRS additional tools to stop fraudulent returns at the door,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Criminals continue to look for increasingly sophisticated ways to breach the tax system. While the IRS has improved prevention and detection efforts, we’re calling on taxpayers to protect their private information so thieves can’t steal personal data to file fraudulent returns.”
The IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) is helping to prosecute the criminals behind these scams and statistics show that in the most recent three fiscal years (FY), CI convicted around 2,000 identity thieves. In FY 2015, the IRS initiated 776 identity theft related investigations. The courts continue to impose significant jail time with the average months to serve in FY 2015 at 38 months, the longest sentencing being over 27 years, the Service added.