The Solution to Tax ID Theft Is an Unpopular One: Slower Refunds -

The Government Accountability Office estimates that $5.8 billion was lost to identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns in 2013 and that there may have been as much as $24.2 billion in thwarted attempts. Tax refund fraud losses are estimated to reach $21 billion by 2016, according to the Treasury Inspector General Tax Administration. While the massive loss chronicled in the GAO report was big news (for a nanosecond anyway) the GAO’s recommendations for stemming the rising tide of tax-related fraud did not get a lot of attention. As we wend our way through a tax-filing season that will doubtless make headlines for record-breaking refund fraud, let’s take a moment to revisit those recommendations. More From What We Could Have Done With the $5.8 Billion the Government Lost to Tax ID Theft The only way to stop tax refund fraud is to change the way the tax filing and refund system works, and this may be a painful process for employers and taxpayers alike.

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