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.
Remember the hit single by the Jackson Five “ABC easy as 123″?
A B C , Its easy as
1 2 3 , as simple as
do re mi, A B C, 1 2 3
baby you and me girl
In case you don’t remember the song, click here to play: Jackson 5 ABC
Apparently stealing your tax return has become as easy as 123.
The number is growing by the seconds. According to an article by CNN.com, the IRS has identified at least 6.5 billion in tax return fraud cases related to identity theft last year. Imagine that! These are the cases that they have identified and do not include the ones that have slipped through their huge cracks. Wondering what amount has slipped through the cracks? You guessed it – the IRS refuses to answer that question. CNN was able to interview IRS Deputy Commissioner, Beth Tucker, and still walked away with no concrete answer.
It is Sooooo…. easy to steal tax returns that inmates are able to run these scams behind bars and are doing so every day in this Key West, Monroe County prison: See CNN video below
When asked whether the IRS has disappointed him or his city, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn stated, “I don’t know, I haven’t seen them, as far as I’m concerned they are M.I.A., they have not been helpful, they have not been a player and they have not taken responsibility for their side of enforcement” – you know its bad when a politician goes public and admits that the IRS (a government run entity) is eluding their responsibility. Continue reading →
As usual Help Me Howard is staying true to its nature of keeping the public informed and helping regular people just like us. “Help Me Howard” was founded by Howard Finkelstein, Public Defender of Broward County and on-air legal analyst for the Fox networks local affiliate, WSVN Channel 7 News. Mr. Finkelstein has been recognized for helping people with disabilities, the homeless, and has received a plethora of awards and recognition for helping out the community.
I recently read this wonderful article on Help Me Howard at WSVN.com about stolen tax refunds which includes extremely useful information on what to do and not to do if you become a victim of tax refund fraud.
Thanks to Patrick Fraser, Channel 7′s reporter responsible for this much needed information, I was able to reprint this article for my readers….
Your IRS tax refund was stolen. A lot of you watching right now are probably saying, ‘That happened to me.’ It’s happened to many South Floridians, but one woman might be the unluckiest. Two refund checks in a row were stolen. Then, you won’t believe what the IRS did. How can you avoid refund troubles? Let’s bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for some answers. Continue reading →
Two weeks ago I found out my tax refund was stolen due to identity theft. Since those two weeks have passed I have watched as hundreds upon hundreds of tax payers report suffering the same victimization. I’ve spoken to even more co-workers that have had the same thing happen to them and they have even more family members that have just found out they too were victims.
The one thing that bothers me most is that even though this theft identity continues, tax returns continue to be stolen while refunds are continuously mailed to thieves without so much as a “Would you please fax or email us a copy of your driver’s license or some valid form of ID?” from the IRS or these electronic tax services that allow the thieves to apply and retrieve a refund in your name or anyone else involved in the refund process.
As I mentioned in a previous post (Turbo Tax Fraud); You need ID to travel, ID to drive, ID to smoke, ID to drink and ID to purchase explicit magazines. Why in the Hell don’t you need ID to cash in the money that someone has worked hard to earn for an entire year and why hasn’t this been put in place yet? This tax return fraud scam has been in full blown action since last year 2011. Continue reading →
According to an article by www.sun-sentinel.com two men from South Florida who basically live close to my own backyard have been caught and charged this year for tax refund fraud. Jean LaFrance resides in North Miami and Carlos Orozco in Pembroke Pines, just minutes away from my home. Orozco was employed as a “volunteer” at the Social Security Administration office in Pembroke Pines (how convenient).
The two used Turbo Tax to deposit the refunds onto the Turbo Tax Green Dot debit cards.
All I want to know is why Turbo Tax doesn’t simply require filers to submit at least a copy of their identification via email or fax – it seems this might curb at least a fraction of the fraud (you think?).
You can read more about it at the Sun-Sentinel link above.
Sunday evening, February 12, 2012, I reached home from work and settled down to put together all of my paperwork to finally do my taxes. I’ve completed my own taxes since I was 18 years old and tonight would be no different. For the past three years I used Turbo Tax the online service that so nicely walks you through each step of the process, assures you get the maximum refund possible, and electronically files your taxes for you at little or no cost. I also liked the fact that a lot of my personal information was already stored with Turbo Tax from previous years and much of this information was auto-populated onto this years return – without me needing to re-enter it.
I gathered all of my paperwork, logged in to Turbo Tax and began the process. It took me just a little over an hour and I was happy to see that I would be getting back somewhere close to $5,000 this year. I was very pleased and was asked to evaluate the service on a pop-up survey just before submitting my return electronically. After giving Turbo Tax an excellent 10 on the survey, I was then asked why I gave them such a high score and was prompted to enter that information into a comment box. I replied with “I gave Turbo Tax such a great score because they are efficient, easy to use and I get the maximum return quickly”.