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IRS Failed to Notify Most Victims of Employment Identity Theft

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released a report finding that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has failed to notify the majority of individuals they found to be victims of employment identity theft.  When an identity thief uses another individual's information to obtain employment, the victim may have taxes computed based on income they did not personally earn, and may experience other difficulties.  The IRS has a computer-based process to notify victims of the issue, but due to a programming error related to a decision to notify only newly identified victims, the IRS failed to notify over 450,000 individuals for processing year 2017.  In addition, over 15,000 individuals who did receive notice (13.5 percent of the total group notified) were not actually victims of employment identity theft.

"Taxpayers need to be notified once the IRS is aware that their identities are being used by others to gain employment," said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "TIGTA's audit found that the IRS needs to improve its process of notifying them, and we have made specific recommendations for doing so," he added.

To read the full report and TIGTA's recommendations, click here.

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