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ASK THE EDD ATTORNEY – IDENTITY THIEF VICTIMS MAY HAVE A LONG WAIT FOR TAX REFUNDS.

By Robert S. Schriebman

April 29, 2015

Introduction

If you are an unfortunate victim of tax refund identity thief you may have a long wait before you receive your IRS and possibly FTB refunds. The IRS has recently issued a public notice calling for patience on your part.

You Are Not Alone

The IRS estimates that there are almost 800,000 potential victims of tax-related identity thief.  Most victims do not realize that their refund has been taken by crooks until they file their state and federal returns. It is only when the return is filed that the poor victim is informed that a prior refund has been erroneously issued by someone using their social security number. It may take the better part of one year before things are unraveled and you receive your return.

Both the IRS and the FTB will pay you interest on the delayed refund, but this is a relatively small amount of money and does not do much to assuage the frustration caused by this unfortunate situation.

Almost $6 billion At Stake

The IRS estimates that it has lost an estimated $5.8 billion to fraudulent refunds in 2013 alone.  In 2014 it stopped another $24.2 billion in false return payments. No one really knows the extent of this damage and the FTB is not talking.

Literally hundreds of thousands of phony tax claims are involved. This is why this is such a big problem and why it’s going to take months for you to get your deserved refund.

How Does This Happen?

Think of how many times you give out your social security number or you use a credit card that can be hacked to obtain your social security number.  When I stand in line for coffee at my local "java joint " I am both disturbed and amazed how many people make these small purchases using credit or debit cards.  I may be the only person in line using cash.  These conveniences come at a price and I firmly believe that any type of electronic payment method can be invaded.

By using a hacked social security number criminals, many of whom operate offshore, can file phony tax returns claiming false refunds. These days many returns are filed electronically and the IRS admits that this is the primary cause of falsified tax refunds. These crooks report false wages and false withholdings.  This is how they get your refund.

What To Do If You Are a Victim

If you find that you are an unfortunate victim of tax refund identity thief, you are advised to file a report with local law enforcement and to contact your credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert. You are also advised to contact the Federal Trade Commission as well as the Social Security Administration.

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Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States. He has successfully dedicated more than 40 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments.

Robert Schriebman has written the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates.  See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure", both published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manualfor Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House in addition to the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates.  See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure", both published by Commerce Clearing House.