Identity theft continues to grow at such a rapid rate that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be unable to keep pace with the crime. In fact, I.D. thieves may make as much as $26 billion over the the next five years from tax refunds alone. CNN reports that Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George stated on May 8th that even with the IRS detecting and preventing large amounts of I.D. theft and fraudulent tax collection every year, the sheer amount and growth of this crime is far beyond what the agency can handle.
The report issued by the Treasury Inspector is actually higher than any other I.D. theft tax fraud estimate previously issued and is one of the most detailed reports ever made about the crime. On the other hand, the IRS states that because the estimate is based on 2010 figures it is much too high on account of “major changes” in identity theft prevention.
In 2011, the Treasury Inspector General’s Office reported that the IRS found 2.2 million fraudulent tax returns, with approximately 940,000 related to identity theft, totaling $6.5 billion. Additionally, the report revealed that 48,357 Social Security numbers were used multiple times in tax returns for 2010. On the positive side, the IRS reported that they had stopped $1.3 billion in fraudulent tax refunds by the end of last month.
Whether or not identity theft grows or government protection improves, being the victim of this crime can cause serious financial damage. Los Angeles identity theft lawyer Howard D. Silver is dedicated to ending the damaged caused by identity theft and repairing victims’ finances. For a consultation about your case, call our offices today at (855) 341-2611.