New Bill to Combat Tax Fraud, ID Theft Introduced – Los Angeles Income Tax Planning & Income Tax Litigation Attorney Bruce Givner

by Bruce Givner on September 2, 2014

Shortly before lawmakers left the capitol for their 5-week recess, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced a bill to combat tax fraud.

The bill, S. 2736, was introduced on August 1 and aims to prevent fraudulent tax refund claims based on stolen taxpayer identities. To accomplish this, the bill boosts Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fraud-detection capabilities, provides victims with assistance and safeguards, and toughens the penalties for these crimes. Specifically, the bill expands IRS access to the national employee database (access more typically associated with child support enforcement), provides a new password option for individual filers, shortens the Social Security numbers on companies’ tax statements for their employees, and confers a felony classification for tax refund theft tied to stolen identities.

According to a statement released by Sen. Wyden, “We have to better protect lawful taxpayers from this nightmare scenario.” Indeed, the bill coincides with news regarding one of the largest and longest-running stolen identify refund fraud schemes in US history. The scheme, carried out by New York resident Elian Matlovsky has been connected to more than 8,000 fraudulent US income tax returns that sought more than $65 million in tax refunds, resulting in more than $12 million in losses to the Treasury Department.  Matlovsky recently pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the US and one count of theft of government property.

According to the Justice Department, annual government losses due to these types of crimes amount to more than $2 billion.

                Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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