The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has delayed the tax refund process for at least 16,000 state taxpayers in order to complete extra identity verification steps to prevent refund fraud and identity theft. The FTB is sending letters to some taxpayers whose returns were prepared professionally to request confidential information using various form letters to validate their claims for refund.
On April 19, 2016, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Koskinen testified before the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Oversight regarding the 2016 filing season and data security. His testimony provided a summary of data current through the beginning of April.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning regarding yet another scam tactic criminals are using this year to steal taxpayers' personal information and refund money. The new approach involves obtaining remote access to tax preparers' computer systems. Tax professionals are strongly encouraged to review and strengthen their computer security immediately.
The Internal Revenue Service has been cracking down on refund fraud and identity theft through the Security Summit initiative and its Criminal Investigation (CI) work. In fiscal year 2015, CI initiated 776 identity theft investigations, which led to 774 sentencings. Individuals found guilty of this type of crime face significant jail time. The average sentence in FY 2015 was 38 months, while the longest sentence was for more than 27 years.