More on the Tax Fraud Epidemic

On Friday you received a message from C&IT and the VP for Administration talking about the epidemic of income tax fraud that has hit the country. This morning it made the front page of the Free Press:

Detroit Free Press article by Susan Tompor on tax fraud

A large number of Wayne State folks were hit (since my name was listed as contact person I was contacted by a number of people, most of whom I know from other directions).

Unfortunately there’s little you can do, other than following the directions on the IRS website. This is apparently now a feature of our modern, ‘connected’ world.

If you were a victim of this scam and would like to help further, you can request a copy of the fraudulent return from the IRS (unfortunately with the name of the bad guy ‘redacted’). Then you can compare the adjusted annual income amount with your W2. If they match, that means somebody got your annual income, so let me know (DO NOT TELL ME THE AMOUNT–JUST WHETHER IT MATCHES–I am the Chief Privacy Officer, after all 🙂 ). This is how you do that.

Meanwhile, welcome to the club (I was hit too, last year).

4 Replies to “More on the Tax Fraud Epidemic”

  1. My understanding is that within reason, the IRS will not get after you if you pay your taxes on time, almost no matter how much you have withheld. So the solution to the fraud problem is to set your withholding rate so that you owe money when you file your return rather than expect a refund.

    That only holds if the fraudsters are getting W-2 information and using it to file fraudulent returns. Of course, if all they need is a SS number and can make up a workplace, wages, etc., then they can do anything. Why can’t the IRS require a valid W-2 filed with the IRS from a legitimate source before paying any refunds?

  2. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter whether you owe or not.

    We owed on our return last year, but the fraudster claimed deductions that generated a refund, irrespective of our actual interaction with the IRS (the fraudster doesn’t know if we paid estimated over the year, or set our withholding to come out to zero owed).

    And once you’ve been hacked, you can’t file electronically, unless you have a PIN. Of course, once you have a PIN you shouldn’t be hackable.

    But we’ll see…

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