Monday, December 10, 2012

I Should At Least Mention Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (12/10/12)

I have not spent any time discussion stolen identity refund fraud ("SIRF") on this blog.  I know it exists and is important, indeed very important in terms of revenue and confidence in the system.  But, SIFR is just blatant stealing and is not the type of tax fraud (more subtle stealing?) that interests me or, I think, most of my readers.  As mentioned in a new article on the Criminal Tax Fraud conference in Las Vegas last week, commentators lamented, in effect, that the IRS is devoting valuable resources to SIRF rather than the type of tax fraud we all know and love.  See Shamik Trivedi, Current and Former CI Officals Debate Focus on Stolen Identity Refund Fraud, 2012 TNT 237-8 (12/10/12).  As reported, they said:
In 2006 CI was running 4,000 open investigations per year, and the most recent figures, from 2011, show more than 5,100 investigations per year, Speier [Richard Speier, former Chief of CI and now on the good side] said. "So I'm trying to figure out, with the escalation of enforcement priority devoted to refund crime, what that leaves for the rest?" 
Ian M. Comisky of Blank Rome LLP was more direct: "You're taking the finest financial investigators in the world, and you're having them do street crime."
I doubt that I will be spending much, if any, time on this blog with SIRF.


  1. I remember reading about this type of fraud involving the EIC, earned income credit. There were cases in which thousands of refunds were sent to the same address and the IRS did not catch this until the money was long gone. Unfortunate that the IRS let this happen while devoting resources to the FBAR in which many (but not all) of those not disclosing accounts had made honest mistakes and were/are trying to fix them.

  2. One aspect of FATCA that does not get much discussion is the what could be the FATAL FLAW. Let's face it. This BIG global DATA collection of all Americans (US Persons) abroad is going to be subject to theft, fraud and in some cases targeting of Americans.

    Never before has an effort like this been under taken to identify all Americans living around the globe.The data will be in the hands of all the FFI's and governments of 193 countries around the world, and eventually, if you read all the FATCA Compliance Complex messages, we are moving towards a GATCA or automatic global tax information exchange data. How secure will it remain? What if you are an American living in a country where you for other valid security reasons besides tax evasion don't want to be identified?

    Probably one of the few articles that I have seen that discuss it best, is this one out of Lebanon. Being from the Middle East, I think their perspective in 'real world' application of data collection should be given some consideration.


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