The IRS is dedicated to protecting taxpayers by stopping identity theft and preventing refund fraud this filing season. Identity theft has always been a problem, but in 2012 the IRS really stepped up its efforts to help reduce the problem. In fact, the IRS assigned more than 3,000 employees to work on identity theft-related issues. These employees are experts at investigating identity theft-related crimes, helping taxpayers who have been victimized by these crimes and working with taxpayers to recognize identity theft indicators.

Below are several ways the IRS has expanded its efforts against fraud refund and identity theft:

  • The IRS has increased the number and quality of identity theft screening filters that spot fraudulent tax returns before refunds are issued.
  • The number of identity theft investigations has increased significantly, 900 in fiscal year 2012.
  • A pilot program was introduced to allow local law enforcement agencies to obtain tax return data to help investigate and pursue identity thieves.
  • The IRS is collaborating with more than 130 financial institutions to block refunds from getting to the hands of thieves, protecting millions of dollars.

Reducing identity theft is an ongoing process, as thieves are constantly finding new ways to steal personal information. However, the IRS is committed to improving the tax system and helping taxpayers who find themselves victimized. For more information on how the IRS plans to help victims of identity theft this tax season, please visit the IRS.