Richard A. Lindsey, CPA Lindsey & Waldo, LLC – Certified Public Accountants
  • Identity Theft Happens Everywhere…Even Alabama

    Filed under Informational, Taxes, Taxes
    Oct 4

    Millbrook, Alabama resident Janika Bates obtained names and social security numbers of student loan borrowers from electronic databases of a former employer, and used them to make false claims for tax refunds. Bates was sentenced to 94 months in prison following her conviction of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy to make false claims for tax refunds.

    But what about the victim?

    The consequences of having your identity stolen can be numerous. If your identity is stolen, your tax refund will be more than likely held up by the IRS. A victim sometimes won’t see his refund for a minimum of eleven weeks, or until he can convince the IRS that he really is a victim of identity theft. The burden of proving you have become a victim of identity theft is primarily placed on you. An identity theft victim is faced with the possibility of lost job opportunities, being refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even being arrested for crimes he didn’t commit.

    Over the past year the IRS has put filters into place to address different issues or flags of identity theft. In 2012, the IRS planned on spending approximately $330 million to fight against identity theft, but due to limited resources additional funds are needed. The filters that were placed in service this last year help to differentiate justifiable returns from counterfeit ones and prevent recurrence. If a return is caught by a filter, it is reviewed manually to validate the information. To validate the information the IRS may contact the taxpayer to verify the correct information, or the IRS may send a correspondence audit notice to the taxpayer.

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