Identity Thieves Could Rake in $26 Billion in Tax Refunds
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 @ 8:19PM
May 8, 2012
Criminals who file fraudulent tax returns by stealing people’s identities could rake in an estimated $26 billion over the next five years because the IRS cannot keep up with the amount of the fraud, Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George said Tuesday.
“Our analysis found that, although the IRS detects and prevents a large number of fraudulent refunds based on false income documents, there is much fraud that it does not detect,” said George’s prepared testimony before a joint hearing of the House Ways and Means Subcommittees on Oversight and Social Security.
George’s report is the first detailed analysis of the tax refund fraud problem, which could affect any legitimate taxpayer. His projection of $26 billion is larger than any other estimate of identity theft tax fraud.