The tangled mess called the IRS

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fbt
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Re: The tangled mess called the IRS

#11 Postby fbt » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:04 am

I got a phone call from the IRS this week. I looked the number up and it was legit so I called them. I was on hold for about 20 minutes, was "scolded" for not entering the correct extension, but finally learned that this case had the wrong phone number and he said he marked it as not correct. btw He did say that you will receive a letter first and never be called first. So be carefull.

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joany
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Re: The tangled mess called the IRS

#12 Postby joany » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:11 pm

Adrian wrote:Bu I doubt it's related to e-filing specifically, it's related to identity theft and thieves getting hold of Social Security Numbers. Thieves can file by snail mail or e-file once they have the SSNs. And as you pointed you can get a SSN by intercepting snail mail as well, although it's probably more efficient to steal a lot of them at a time from a server.

Agreed. Filing a fraudulent tax return though e-file requires entering a person's SSN and the exact amount of that person's adjusted gross income from the prior year. Enter the wrong amount, and the e-file won't go through. The thief would then have to make an extraordinarily lucky guess.

Filing a fraudulent paper tax return would be easy, but in order to get a refund, the thief would have to forge fake W-2 forms or 1099 forms showing that taxes were withheld. The only way I could envision getting a refund without supplying W-2 or 1099 forms is by declaring zero, or very little taxable income with lots of tax credits that would result in a negative income tax. A tax return like that should raise plenty of red flags at the IRS.
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richb
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Re: The tangled mess called the IRS

#13 Postby richb » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:05 pm

joany wrote:
Adrian wrote:Bu I doubt it's related to e-filing specifically, it's related to identity theft and thieves getting hold of Social Security Numbers. Thieves can file by snail mail or e-file once they have the SSNs. And as you pointed you can get a SSN by intercepting snail mail as well, although it's probably more efficient to steal a lot of them at a time from a server.

Agreed. Filing a fraudulent tax return though e-file requires entering a person's SSN and the exact amount of that person's adjusted gross income from the prior year. Enter the wrong amount, and the e-file won't go through. The thief would then have to make an extraordinarily lucky guess.

Filing a fraudulent paper tax return would be easy, but in order to get a refund, the thief would have to forge fake W-2 forms or 1099 forms showing that taxes were withheld. The only way I could envision getting a refund without supplying W-2 or 1099 forms is by declaring zero, or very little taxable income with lots of tax credits that would result in a negative income tax. A tax return like that should raise plenty of red flags at the IRS.

Of course not everyone has or needs a W-2. It is rare but there are also certain types of income not requiring a 1099.

EDIT: That does not mean you can avoid reporting that income.
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