Saturday, March 16, 2013

IRS Deputized 30 Florida Law Enforcement Agents To Combat Fraud

IRS in Florida added 30 agents to their statewide fraud task force by swearing in police officers and sheriff deputies as federal agents.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 16, 2013

Tampa, Florida - On Friday, 30 new federal deputy agents were sworn in by the Florida based Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS deputy agents were recruited from 10 state and local law enforcement agencies that included police officers and sheriff deputies. They will be part of an identity theft tax refund fraud task force that will join another 20 agents in the IRS criminal investigation unit.
In the last few years, criminal organizations or criminals have used stolen identities to filed fraudulent tax refunds costing the government millions. State and local authorities investigating identity theft cases couldn't easily get personal taxpayer information from the IRS to help prosecute cases.
Law enforcement agencies will now have IRS deputy agents in their departments to access taxpayer information for investigations concerning identity theft and interstate tax fraud cases, including sending fraudulent acquired tax refunds out of the country.
Officers were recruited from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,  Brooksville, Clearwater, Largo, St. Petersburg and Tampa Police Departments and sheriff deputies from Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk Counties.
The IRS reported, that to stop identity thieves up front, the IRS has made a significant increase for the 2013 tax season in the number and quality of identity theft screening filters that spot fraudulent tax returns before refunds are issued. The IRS has dozens of identity theft screens now in place to protect tax refunds.
These efforts helped the IRS in 2012 protect $20 billion of fraudulent refunds, including those related to identity theft, compared with $14 billion in 2011.

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