Monday, April 25, 2016

The IRS 2015 Filing Fraud Report Is In! Was Your Tax Return Affected?

Remember the other week when we talked about the importance of knowing about tax fraud and protecting your identity during tax season (as well as all the others)? Well, the results for the 2015 filings are in, and the steps the IRS and taxpayers have taken to prevent tax identity fraud have had commendable results.

This report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration was issued last Thursday, based on how the IRS’s performed January 1 through mid-April, 2016. The final results of their analysis will be released in September.

The IRS confirms the interim report's findings: 31,578 fraudulent tax returns involving identity theft have been found as of Feb. 29, 2016 (the paper filing deadline). As of March 5, 20,224 of these fraudulent returns have been identified as prisoner tax returns, which are being held for screening (prisoners have a history of claiming bogus tax refunds).

On March 4, the IRS’s return total was approximately 67 million, 62.6 million (93.9%) e-filed and 4 million (6.1%) paper filed. Subsequently, the IRS has issued more than $160 billion in 53,5 million refunds.

The IRS took measures this tax season to catch fraudulent claims before processing (rather than during). State tax authorities are also working to combat identity theft and tax fraud; the state of New York alone stopped more than 239,000 suspicious refund claims, saving taxpayers roughly $400 million.

While it’s true that a majority of the fraudulent returns found this year were e-filed - only 741 of the returns pulled for screening were paper filed - this shouldn’t keep you from e-filing in the future. In fact, it’s easier for the IRS to detect fraudulent returns when you file electronically, which can help expedite the correction process.

You can decrease your risk of fraud by making sure to file with an IRS-authorized e-file provider, like ExpressIRSForms. We’ve taken extra measures to ensure your security and that your information is shared only with the IRS.

If you've got any questions for us, we’re here all year, not just during tax season. Give us a call Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT at (704) 839-2270. Or send us a live chat during those hours through our website, And for all you night owls, we’ve got 24/7 e-mail support at

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