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Letter: IRS must halt tax refund fraud

IRS tax forms.

IRS tax forms. Credit: istock

As long as we are exposing things that need to stop at the IRS ["IRS boss denies wrongdoing," News, May 23], I strongly suggest we also look at tax refund fraud.

Our annual joint tax return was rejected by the IRS because a return had already been filed under my husband's Social Security number. Apparently, if some unscrupulous person or group gets your Social Security number -- along with some made-up facts and fake W-2 wage and tax statements -- they can file a fraudulent return and have it issued via direct deposit to a debit card. It's sickening.

According to the Treasury's inspector general for tax administration, in 2011, the IRS identified more than 900,000 fraudulent returns and stopped more than $6.5 billion in fraudulent refunds. However, the inspector general reported that another 1.5 million potentially fraudulent returns went undetected in 2011, allowing $5.2 billion in refunds to be paid.

My husband was instructed to file an identity theft affidavit and mail in paper copies of our return and all supporting documents. He also had to include copies of our Social Security cards and passports. It will now take a minimum of 180 days to process our return and get the refund, which we could really use. And that's the best case.

Ann DiCerbo, Merrick