Casey Hears Testimony on Tax Fraud From Local Officials as Reading and Communities Throughout PA Work to Prevent Fraud and Theft

Casey Heard from Berks County District Attorney John Adams, Former IRS Tax Official on Local Tax Fraud Issues / Casey, Chairman of Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight, is Exploring Legislation to Combat Identity Tax Fraud that Has Impacted Millions of Americans in Recent Years

Casey Hears Testimony on Tax Fraud From Local Officials as Reading and Communities Throughout PA Work to Prevent Fraud and Theft

Reading, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight, discussed the impact of tax fraud in Reading and across Pennsylvania during a hearing-style event. Casey received testimony on local instances of tax fraud from Berks County District Attorney John Adams, as well as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Supervisor and former IRS official John DiLullo. Senator Casey also discussed potential solutions and prevention measures to combat identity theft tax fraud.

“Identity theft tax fraud is a persistent and troubling problem for taxpayers, law enforcement and local, state and federal government,” said Senator Casey. “Officials in Berks County know the significance of this problem; according to DA Adams, highly organized criminals have found a way to make millions stealing Social Security numbers from residents of Puerto Rico to file fraudulent returns. Versions of this story are echoed across Pennsylvania and the entire country. As the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Taxation and IRS Oversight Subcommittee, I am dedicated to working with local law enforcement and others to better confront this issue and protect taxpayers.”

Recently, the GAO published a report in August showing that the IRS had paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent returns related to identity theft in 2013, about the same amount as in 2011. The GAO acknowledged that since its last report, in 2012, the IRS had taken valuable measures to better understand and detect identity theft fraud. However, the problem persists and criminals are constantly adapting their tactics. Below is a summary table detailing the GAO’s findings regarding how many fraudulent refund claims were filed, how many were prevented or recovered, and how many erroneous refund payments the IRS acknowledges it made in 2013.

  

 

Number of returns

Pct. of Returns

Amt. of refunds

IDT refund claims identified

5 million

 

$29.4 billion

IDT refunds prevented/recovered

4.1 million

82 percent

$24.2 billion

IDT refunds paid

0.9 million

18 percent

$5.2 billion

Senator Casey has previously worked to combat tax fraud. In 2012, Casey exposed lax federal rules that allowed identity thieves to obtain recently deceased Americans’ Social Security numbers for as little as $10 (link). Senator Casey also called on Attorney General Eric Holder, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to work to create a task force to prevent tax fraud related to identity theft in 2o13 (link). More recently, Senator Casey’s plan to combat tax fraud with the “Death Master List” was incorporated into the budget agreement last December (link). 

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