The hearing is set to begin in a few minutes.
Full release, after the jump:
Platts’ Final Hearing as Subcommittee Chairman to Review Effectiveness of IRS Response to Tax Identity Theft
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The number of incidents of tax identity theft reported by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have skyrocketed from 51,702 in 2008 to more than 1.1 million in 2011 – and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that in 2011, as many as 1.5 million additional cases went undetected by the IRS. The Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency, and Financial Management, chaired by U.S. Congressman Todd Platts (PA-19), will be holding its fourth hearing on this issue Thursday – which also marks Congressman Platts’ final hearing as chairman prior to his retirement at the end of the 112th Congress.
Every year billions of dollars of tax refunds are paid out to identity thieves who file for a tax return using a stolen name, address and Social Security number. Taxpayers victimized by this fraud often find out only after they have legitimately filed their tax returns. Congressman Platts initiated an investigation into this issue in June 2011 after more than a dozen citizens of the 19th Congressional District reported being victims of such tax fraud.
“Identity theft related tax fraud is a rapidly growing problem and continued congressional oversight will be needed in the future,” said Congressman Platts. “We must do a much better job at preventing identity theft tax fraud, ensuring that the victims of such crimes get the assistance they need, and giving citizens the necessary information to protect themselves from such identity theft.”
Identity theft-related tax fraud also results in a significant loss of revenue to the U.S. Government, according to TIGTA, which estimates that the IRS paid out $5.2 billion in potentially fraudulent claims in 2011 – a number which they estimate could amount to $21 billion over the next five years. The IRS has taken steps to prevent identity theft-related tax fraud, which included launching a pilot program to help local law enforcement investigate cases of identity theft. Yet, TIGTA warns that the problem shows no signs of subsiding, noting that the IRS does not have the resources to effectively combat such fraud and fails to take advantage of the data it already possesses to identify trends that could be used to prevent future refund fraud.
Thursday’s hearing will review the IRS’ response to this issue and examine other potential solutions. For additional information, including advanced witness testimony, please contact Robert Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Title: Identity Theft and Tax Fraud: Growing Problems for the Internal Revenue Service, Part 4
Date/Time: 10:00 a.m. on Thursday November 29, 2012
Location: 2247 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
• Ms. Beth Tucker, Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support, Internal Revenue Service
• The Honorable J. Russell George, Inspector General, TIGTA
• Ms. Nina Olsen, National Taxpayer Advocate, Internal Revenue Service
• Mr. James R. White, Director, Strategic Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office