The first several months of the year in the U.S. are generally thought of as tax season. While those who owe the IRS might not be particularly pleased, individuals in Texas who receive returns likely look forward to this time of year. However, tax fraud is also a part of tax season, and can result in false tax returns being issued to the wrong person. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that not every accusation of tax fraud proves to be true.
Fraudulent tax returns are usually filed after an individual’s Social Security number is compromised. Once someone else has the number in their possession, a tax return can be filed under that person’s identity, and a refund may be issued to someone who is not the relevant taxpayer. This has apparently amounted to billions of dollars in fraudulent returns over the past several years.
Those who file tax returns under a Social Security number that is not their own do not fit into one certain mold or stereotype. In one instance, a mail carrier is said to have swiped certain tax-related mail from mailboxes. In another case, an employee at a school may have used students’ information that was stored on a database.
Authorities state that they are attempting to crack down on tax fraud. The IRS recently increased its investigations into identity theft by 66 percent. Texas residents accused of committing tax fraud for supposedly filing a tax return under another individual’s Social Security number might be unaware of their next step when it comes to facing accusations from the IRS. For some people, gaining a better understanding of their legal rights could prove beneficial before they commit to any decisions concerning a defense that will best work in their favor.
Source: kiiitv.com, “$4 billion: Bogus tax refunds a growing problem”, Eric Tucker, April 10, 2014