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Can The IRS Prevent Identity Theft In Time For Next Tax Season?

Identity-TheftWhether the IRS can prevent identity theft this upcoming tax season remains to be seen. However, they are initiating some meetings to explore options that might prevent some fraud and identity theft. In early October, according to an article in Accounting Today, “The Internal Revenue Service met with a group of state tax administrators and tax industry leaders to discuss additional steps they are taking for next tax season to strengthen safeguards against identity theft and tax refund fraud.” 

That is certainly a step in the right direction. But is it enough? Acknowledging that this is a battle they cannot fight alone, the IRS has aligned with the software industry, the electronic tax industry and state governments. The IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen talked about the involvement of organized crime syndicates around the world in the overall increase of identity theft. He told Accounting Today, “These criminals have been able to gather enormous amounts of personal data from sources outside the IRS.” 

Koskinen promises that the IRS is on track to have new safeguards up and running to protect taxpayers this coming season. According to Accounting Today, “The public-private sector partnership announced success in identifying and testing more than 20 new data elements on tax return submissions that will be shared with the IRS and the states to help detect and prevent identity-theft related filings. In addition, the software industry is putting in place enhanced identity requirements and validation procedures for their customers to protect accounts from identity thieves.” 

Tax season will be here before you know it. It’s good to know the IRS is doing its best to stop identity theft and the filing of fraudulent returns.


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