Re: The tangled mess called the IRS
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.