HOW BAD WILL IT NEED TO GET BEFORE THE IRS ASKS THE THIEF FOR IDENTIFICATION?

For the first time in about a month I had time to call the IRS to find out whether they have actually received my mailed tax return along with the affidavit and identification. I had to call because there is no information online. I didn’t think they would be able to tell me anything on the phone either, but I assumed it was worth a try.

After holding (on speakerphone of course) for a little over 15 minutes in an attempt to reach the Identity Theft section of the IRS, I was greeted by a very nice representative who verified that I was who I said I was through a series of identification questions and then proceeded to tell me that “Yes” they (the IRS) have received my affidavit and information through the mail. I also asked if I would actually get my return and if so when might I expect it or if he might have an estimated time-frame. He assured me that I would definitely receive it eventually but that the time-frame could vary anywhere from four months to a little over a year. I also inquired about the possibility of receiving a PIN number to avoid future incidents and he told me that PIN numbers would be issued somewhere around November for current victims to avoid repeat victimization on subsequent tax returns.

He (the IRS representative) seemed or sounded very nervous when I began to question him. I didn’t want him to feel like I was picking on him because it definitely is not his fault that the IRS has failed to handle their business.

I found it amusing that I had to answer so many identification questions just to find out if they received my information – If the identity thief were asked about half these questions before being handed my money no one would have this problem and billions of dollars would not be floating around amongst the pockets of lazy, entitled, scum of the earth.

Billions? Did I say “Billions”? Yes, I did! According to our very own Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George The toll is nearing the billions that could be raked in within the next five years because the IRS cannot keep up. You can read more about that in this article on CNN.com by Scott Zamost: Identity thieves could rake in $26 billion in tax refunds

By the way, if you are a victim of identity theft because of a stolen tax return do not bother to call the “Where is my Refund” section of the IRS or the “Customer Service” division. Call this number: 800-908-4490 between 7am and 7pm, Monday thru Friday and be prepared for a long wait.

Good Luck!

IRS TAX RETURN FRAUD 2012 – THE SHITS FINALLY HITTING THE FAN

Forget about millions, we are now looking at Billions in tax payer’s money gone to criminals. Mind you, the billion amount has a big fat “S” on the end of it!

A very interesting article titled “Identity thieves will rake in billions in stolen tax refunds this year” at Nextgov.com states that, “For the past five years, the IRS has received negative audits from the Government Accountability Office for ongoing security weaknesses that could compromise sensitive taxpayer information” – some of these statements were from the prepared testimony of J. Russell George, the Treasury Department inspector general for tax administration himself.

This article goes on to say that a significantly greater amount of returns based on false income get through than the amount prevented and/or detected by the IRS. And that many of these false returns or fraudulent returns are forged by IRS employees.

And damn, “The IRS does not analyze much data from identity theft cases for patterns that could be followed to prevent future refund fraud.”

All I can say is “Nice” and Really?

Not to mention, their (IRS) computer vulnerabilities are deplorable.

More about that gem here: IRS plagued by computer vulnerabilities five consecutive years

Read and download the last two IRS audits for yourself: (click on link and a new page will open then click link a second time to save or open for viewing)

2012 Report to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue
2011 Report to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue
You’ve got to read this article by: By Aliya Sternstein 04/19/2012 (well you don’t have to, but its very informative)

There’s your tax dollars working for you!

TODAY IS THE OFFICIAL 2012 IRS TAX FILING DEADLINE

Do you know where you tax return is?
If you’re like hundreds of thousands of others who have already filed their tax returns promptly and have discovered that some crook has already filed one for you, then you’re probably pretty upset and have good reason to be.

If you’re just sending out your tax return today, then you have a very good chance of becoming a victim yourself.

How will you know if you are a victim?

If you file electronically you will most likely receive a message from the electronic filing system that a duplicate social security number has been detected or that a tax return has already been filed using your social security number.

If you file by mail, it may be weeks or even months before you even find out you’re a victim. You will receive a letter that says, “more than one tax return was filed for you” or states “you received wages from an employer you don’t know”. And then it will be more months or even, in some cases, a year or two before you will actually get your tax return.

What should you do if you become a victim?

If you file electronically:

Unfortunately you will need to call the IRS to determine whether or not this message is indeed due to identity theft.
Be prepared to hold and be on the phone for at least an hour (don’t do this on your lunch break)
They will tell you to file a police report. However there has been so much identity theft and tax return fraud this year that most police departments will not even take a report.
If your local police department will not take a report don’t worry about it – it probably wouldn’t make much of a difference anyway.
Read this article “Tax Refund Stolen” on what to do (scroll halfway down the page and start with line item number 7)
After following these directions, be prepared for a very, very long wait. From what I understand, you will eventually get your tax return and in some cases with interest tacked onto it. The problem is when? And that “when” is averaging somewhere around at least six months to two years.

Last night I did an interview with Scott Cohn of CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on tax return fraud and identity theft and he brought up some very important issues that I really hadn’t had a chance to think about regarding identity theft – those things being the long-term effects or aftermath of identity theft and how it might continue to affect its victims.

When Scott asked me this question it made me think of things like, what will happen if because of this tax return fraud/identity theft:

Your income is reported wrong and you temporarily lose certain medical benefits because of a sliding scale medical insurance program
Your work record is tainted by reports of incorrect employers, which subsequently become part of some public record system and this causes you not to get a job because an employer thinks you have submitted false information
You apply for financial aid and are deemed ineligible due to incorrect income reports
Your child support is adjusted due to incorrect income reports
The list could go on-and-on.

As I mentioned in my interview, the IRS is similar to credit bureaus in that it’s really easy for negative or erroneous information to appear and stay on your report but you’re going to play HELL trying to get anything removed or eradicated.