Up to 1.2M Tax Returns May Have Used Stolen IDs

An estimated 1.2 million tax returns filed in 2007 reported wages earned by taxpayers who used another taxpayer’s Social Security number, according to a new government report.

Many tax returns are filed by individuals who have used another person’s name and Social Security number at work, but then filed federal tax returns using their own names and assigned Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. This often occurs with illegal immigrants. But when collection actions are taken on the account of the legitimate holder of the Social Security number, tax complications can occur for both the legitimate holder of the Social Security number, and the individual who used another person’s Social Security number at work.

A new report, by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration, found that the Internal Revenue Service cannot currently identify such identity theft cases.

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  1. Golde - April 26, 2010

    Why not just write a guide telling thieves this is how to use ITINs to steal – whoops, they just did so. This is a good report but wasn’t there a better way to get the information out without teaching a crime. How about a press release with key security items and keep this report (dare I say it) confidential?

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