It seems that some taxpayers that are looking for a “quick” refund make have to wait a bit longer than normal these days as the Internal Revenue Service tries to halt criminals that file fraudulent returns and who attempt to steal others identities.
The IRS began accepting 2012 returns on January 30th. It has been making its automated system more receptive to signs of possible fraud. This means that certain returns will be looked at more closely. Just last year alone the IRS stopped $20 billion fraudulent refunds being issued, up from $14 billion the previous year.”
“It’s a difficult responsibility for the IRS,” said Benson Goldstein, a senior technical manager at the American Institute of CPAs in Washington. “They’re there to get prompt refunds, but at the same time protect the U.S. Treasury.”
Some valid taxpayers will have their refunds delayed. The IRS has been attempting to decrease processing times to speed up refunds, partly to stimulate electronic filing and in part to break the taxpayer’s reliance on short term loans. The rush of refunds presented an opportunity for fraud.
The IRS hopes to meet its goal of processing 90 percent of refunds within twenty one days. Meanwhile taxpayers who are victims of identity theft could wait months. The IRS has long delayed refunds to prevent fraud. Some experts believe that this year’s undertaking, combined with the normal flood of returns because of the late congressional action that delayed the start of filing, may delay refunds for about a week.
The IRS stated that it had more than 3,000 employees focused on identity theft in late 2012. If any taxpayers fear that they are identity theft victims they can contact the IRS at 1.800.908.4490 extension 245.
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