Data Facts Lending Solutions Blog

Tax Return Fraud: A Billion Dollar Industry

by Jennifer Hamby

Jun 25, 2014 7:30:00 AM


Did you know that the number 1 crime in America is Identity Theft?   And the fastest growing sector of Identity theft is, tax return identity theft, with close to 1 million cases of tax return fraud this year alone.  Due to its fast rise, many are calling this type of identity theft an epidemic, and in fact the IRS has listed “false tax return fraud” a TOP PRIORITY, assigning more than 3000 employees to investigate these cases and trained an additional 35,000 in the basics of ID Theft.

Many of the fraudulent tax returns are filed by using the Social Security numbers of people who are not required to file returns and thus don’t realize their identity was used to obtain illicit refunds.

For example, potentially fraudulent returns were filed in 2011 using the Social Security numbers of 1,451 children under 14 years old; 19,102 dead people; 37,249 prisoners; and 753,000 people whose income level did not require a tax return.

Astronomical as it sounds, this statistic doesn’t include the almost 480,000 fraudulent refund claims filed using the Social Security numbers of Puerto Rican citizens, who generally do not file federal tax returns unless earning stateside income, or the almost 1.5 million bogus tax returns claiming over $5 billion in refunds, according to the IRS.



Obtaining Tax Return Verifications for your mortgage loans has never been more important than it is today to ensure income certainty.

Victimized consumers should also consult the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft or the IRS Identity Theft Protection page to learn more about tax return identity theft.



Topics: tax return verifications

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