In the continuous fight against tax fraud, the IRS plans to implement new measures designed to reduce identity theft and prevent tax refunds being stolen. However, the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson cautions that several planned measures might be counter-productive in that they may also penalize genuine taxpayers seeking tax refunds along with tax cheats.
Areas like Tampa has seen a spike in tax refund fraud cases as identities of innocent taxpayers are stolen to claim tax refunds by the hundreds of millions of dollars. It is said that the number of crimes in the streets has even fallen periodically because drug dealers and other criminals stay indoors using their computers to steal tax refunds. Some thieves even go to the extent of contacting the IRS to claim refunds that are delayed or blocked.
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