Most Americans are concerned about the nation being trillions of dollars in debt. But what about the $6.5 billion we lost in 2010 due to fraudulent tax returns? Criminals are filing fraudulent tax returns before the real taxpayer. The result is the Federal government pays the tax refund twice.
Law enforcement claims they are doing everything they can to catch these criminals. However, the problem is only advancing even after increased efforts.
How are so many criminals able to succeed at filing false tax returns? In the age of electronic filing, it has never been easier. They use stolen identity information, social security numbers , names and birth dates. This is enough to file a legitimate-looking tax return. Identity theft is widespread. These criminals are stealing directly from the IRS and ultimately, the American people.
It is discouraging how this hard earned money is undeservedly flying into the hands of law breakers. Many were former drug dealers who found fraudulent tax filing more lucrative. However, their violent tactics remain. Postal workers are targets for brutality as they seek to retrieve their refunds from the mail. Postal workers are harassed, robbed and in one case, a postal worker was murdered.
The government has approved pre-paid debit cards as a form of refund to assist those who don’t have bank accounts. Unfortunately, what begun as a good intention, had resulted in an ideal way to hinder tracing criminal activity.
Tax fraud is rampant. It is costing Americans hundreds of millions annually. It is most evident in South Florida where identity theft occurs at record highs. Tampa is the city the most targeted.