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Taxpayers advised to file early to fight fraud

A report said the IRS issued about $3.6 billion in potentially bogus ‘11 refunds.
A report said the IRS issued about $3.6 billion in potentially bogus ‘11 refunds.Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News/File

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Income tax season starts Friday (Jan 31) for individual taxpayers, and while many might not be in a hurry to file their returns, it’s a sure bet that criminals are poised to push the send button and transmit bogus documents.

Using the victim’s Social Security number, they snag a refund before the legitimate taxpayer files.

A 2013 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report found that while the IRS is stopping more fraudulent returns, it issued an estimated $3.6 billion in potentially bogus 2011 refunds.

The problem of tax-related identity theft continues to grow along with identity theft overall. Take the recent Target and Neiman Marcus breaches.

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