CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. IRS Should Improve ID Theft Victim Assistance: TIGTA

IRS Should Improve ID Theft Victim Assistance: TIGTA

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

08 December 2015


Improvements are needed for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to better assist victims of identity theft (IDT) in the United States, according to a new report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

As part of the agency's strategy to reduce taxpayer burden caused by IDT, the IRS formed the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) in October 2008. The IPSU is a dedicated unit organized for the purpose of enabling IDT victims to get their questions answered and obtain assistance in getting their issues resolved quickly and effectively.

In May 2012, TIGTA reported that the IPSU was not achieving its original purpose of providing each IDT victim with a single assistor to answer questions and resolve his or her issues. TIGTA initiated its latest audit to follow up on the current effectiveness of the IPSU in meeting its goals.

However, TIGTA found that the IRS no longer provides the majority of IDT victims with an IPSU single point of contact because, according to the IRS, budgetary constraints prevent the IRS from doing so. In addition, the IRS did not always issue required acknowledgement and case status letters to taxpayers or effectively conduct research to identify and assist taxpayers who submit IDT claim documentation without their Social Security Number.

"The IRS should provide quality customer service to all taxpayers, including those who have been victimized by identity thieves, and this service should include mailing timely acknowledgement and case status letters," said Russell George, the TIGTA.

Concern has risen this year about the extent of tax fraud linked to IDT in the United States. The problem is being seen as particularly pressing after the IRS admitted that the personal information of 334,000 taxpayers was compromised during the data breach in May this year.

In August, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen had promised to investigate the agency's handling of fraudulent tax returns. As part of that process, the IRS introduced a procedure last month through which IDT victims can now obtain copies of the returns filed in their names, so as to assess the extent of damage to their privacy and decide what steps to take.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | law | Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | tax authority | United States | Tax

To see today's news, click here.

 















Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »



Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the Tax-News.com mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.


To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »