Claremore Daily Progress

Business

April 12, 2014

Tax refund fraud is a big frustration for victims

(Continued)

TOLEDO, Ohio —

Dallas radio host Ed Wallace said he found out just over a year ago that someone filed a return using his name. What surprised him was that it got through even though his name was misspelled, his address had been changed and his wife’s name wasn’t on the form.
“I can’t believe there wasn’t a field in the IRS computers to alert them,” Wallace said. “They must have so many they can’t keep up.”
He spent about $2,700 on attorney fees to straighten out the mess.
Among the biggest frustrations is the amount of time it takes victims to resolve the issue with the IRS and get their refunds.
The average wait for identity theft victims to clear their cases had been about 10 months but is now down to three months, according to the IRS.
Agency Commissioner John Koskinen said the IRS has more than doubled the employees dedicated to working on identity theft and improved its screening to catch suspicious returns.
The IRS stopped more than $12 billion in fraudulent refunds from going to identity thieves in 2012, compared with $8 billion the year before, according to an inspector general’s report released in November.

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