Identity Theft Refund Fraud

Post Date: 1/13/14
Last Updated: 1/13/14


Cross References
- FS-2014-3, January 2014

The IRS has seen a significant increase in refund fraud that involves identity thieves who file false claims for refunds by stealing and using someone's Social Security number. The investigative work done by Criminal Investigation (CI) is a major component of the IRS' efforts to combat tax-related identity theft.

Statistical Data
In fiscal year 2013, the IRS initiated approximately 1,492 identity theft related criminal investigations, an increase of 66% over investigations initiated in FY 2012. Direct investigative time applied to identity theft related investigations has increased 216% over the last two years. Prosecution recommendations, indictments, and those convicted and sentenced for identity theft violations have increased dramatically since FY 2011. Sentences handed down for convictions relating to identity theft have been significant, ranging from two months to 317 months.

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