Florida is the state with the highest number of cases involving prisoner tax fraud. This is especially so in north Florida where 2,407 cases in which fraudulent tax returns were fled by prisoners were reported in northeast Florida alone in 2009. But a law that has been passed recently to overcome the issue is now in place. The Inmate Tax Fraud Prevention Act 2008 gives the IRS the right to disclose inmates’ fnancial details to federal prison authorities if the need arises. Last year, the law was amended to include state penitentiaries. However, to-date the IRS has not enforced the amendment.
Sen. Bill Nelson believes this non-action is because the IRS is afraid of being sued. The senator issued a letter to the IRS Commissioner recently that read, “I am concerned that more than eight months after Congress passed a measure to crack down on tax fraud by prison inmates at state correctional institutions, the Internal Revenue Service and Florida Department of Corrections have yet to reach an information-sharing agreement that will help state prison offcials identify prisoners fling false tax returns.”
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