The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in Washington D.C. has reported that the federal Internal Revenue Service has seen nearly a five-fold increase in taxpayer identity theft between 2008 and 2010.
In its news account of the GAO report, the Associated Press reported that there were 248,357 incidents in 2010, compared to 51,702 in 2008.
Massachusetts DOR has seen a relatively small number of known identity theft cases in tax year 2010, and has posted on its website advice and guidance on how to deal with tax identity theft should it occur.
As the AP reported, typically, tax identity thieves submit tax returns for refunds early in the filing season. The legitimate taxpayer whose identity has been stolen usually files later, and only then learns from the tax agency that a return has already been filed using the same Social Security number.
The IRS has established a website, www.STOPFRAUD.gov, which instructs taxpayers on what to do if they suspect identity fraud.
This story from Reuters also explains why the difficulty tax agencies have in preventing identity theft.
Class in Session at DOR University posted on Jan 20
Looking to educate yourself this tax season? Want to learn more about tax options, or DOR-related issues? All this can be achieved at DOR University, the Department of Revenue’s free online e-learning module. DOR University, created to offer free tax education to the public and …Continue Reading Class in Session at DOR University
Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges posted on Nov 19
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Illegal Tobacco Commission, chaired by DOR Commissioner Amy Pitter, released a report on the illicit tobacco trade which recommends that teaming up with federal, state and local law enforcement can be a successful model for combatting such criminal activity. And …Continue Reading Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges
Top priority: protecting the taxpayer and the Commonwealth’s revenue posted on Oct 8
With identity theft on the rise, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is taking new steps to combat the problem and protect taxpayers. In some cases, this means asking taxpayers to take a quiz before getting their state refund check. DOR is teaming up with LexisNexis …Continue Reading Top priority: protecting the taxpayer and the Commonwealth’s revenue