IRS and Taxpayers Stolen Identities: What They Didn’t Tell You
August 30, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed to the public that 1.1 million taxpayers identities have been stolen. These 1.1 million stolen identities of Americans were their Social Security numbers that have been stolen over a five-year period in “employment-related identity theft.” This theft is associated with illegal immigrants wanting access to working benefits who have come to this country by any illegal means. Sadly, the taxpayers whose identities were not identified. The IRS has stated that the initiative to notify never went through and that the process never got to the point of notifying the SSA of the problem.
The report from the IRS about the stolen information sent out a bad lash from Senator Daniel Coats who questioned the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about the policy and the actions to notify the taxpayers affected. Koskinen’s response was that he would begin notifying the victims within the next year. Now it’s 2016 and they haven’t been notified of the problem since 2014. Following the incident Senator Coats wants to push for new legislation on taxpayer identities and protecting them from ever being stolen again. As of right now, that legislation is in the new amendment bill with the Senate Finance Committee, which Senator Coats is a member. The new bill includes two new measures, one of which is the victims making sure there are better protective measures of their social security numbers and the other is victim protection measures with the IRS such as making an IP PIN number for securing files and working with getting the stolen identity back.
Some of these measures are a right step in the direction the IRS has been going for since last year. But the concern is whether or not the security within the IRS is still able to be breached in the same attempt as by illegal immigrants who are trying to get work in this country by any means necessary. Some methods of doing so include phony emails and phone numbers to get the identity of the person, their social security number and their tax information. But there are people like the IRS who are trying to help prevent that situation in the first place. Yet in the case of the IRS hearing of the victims not being told that they have had their identity stolen, the commissioner has said that in some of the cases, friends or relatives lent their Social Security numbers to the unauthorized workers, and already know their information is being fraudulently used. Which meant that they already knew about the stolen information and did not report it to the proper authorities.
So while there are setbacks and comebacks in the IRS, the big issue is with the individuals themselves and making sure that they do not share their information with those who are wanting legal access in this country to have a job. Even if the American dream is to have a job and be successful in life, sometimes those success could be done by any means necessary.