A Letter from Senator Marco Rubio & IRS Response
Over the past several months CFEG has sent its consultants to Capitol Hill to meet with the staffs of members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S House of Representatives to bring to their attention the ever-growing wave of criminal activity associated with identity theft-based tax refund fraud and to find ways to combat the problem which is costing the U.S. Treasury billions of dollars and victimizing American taxpayers.
On February 15, 2013, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida sent a letter to the IRS at the urging of CFEG. In Senator Rubio’s letter he states, “My Florida constituents, and particularly Florida’s senior citizens, are increasingly targeted victims of identity theft. I am writing you to inquire about recent efforts the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed or enacted to prevent this disturbing trend from worsening, as the U.S. population continues to age.”
In his letter, Senator Rubio cites to a November 2012 report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) titled, “Identity Theft, Total Extent of Refund Fraud Using Stolen Identities is Unknown.” This report found that tax-related identity theft has increased from 47,730 recorded incidents in 2008 to 641,690 recorded incidents in 2012. Senator Rubio’s “state offices have experienced a large increase in constituent case work related to identity theft” over his first two years in office and has more than tripled from 2011 to 2012.
“Tax-related identity fraud is especially rampant between the months of January and April, the height of the tax season” according to Senator Rubio and he is interested in learning what new actions the IRS is taking this year to ensure the American taxpayer is not victimized by fraudulent activity. He asks the IRS if they devote additional resources during tax season toward combating identity theft and what future steps the IRS plans to take in order to protect American taxpayers from this crime. Senator Rubio believes that addressing and preventing tax-related identity theft is of the utmost importance and he looks forward to the IRS’s reply addressing specific measures that will be taken this year to curtail identity theft-based tax refund fraud.
CFEG will continue its efforts to monitor what steps the IRS is taking to prevent the identity theft-based tax refund problem facing our nation.