IRS’s identity theft issues are leading to ‘unconscionable’ tax refund delays: Report

The Internal Revenue Service is way behind in dealing with identity theft cases, and it’s causing delays for taxpayers whose refunds are caught up in the bureaucracy.

Identity theft is a growing problem and it’s apparently challenging the IRS’s bandwidth at the expense of taxpayers. The issues stem from scammers filing a high volume of returns in other people’s names, trying to steal their tax refunds.

new report to Congress from the Taxpayer Advocate Service states that the IRS is struggling to help victims in a timely manner, leading to “unconscionable” delays. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayers victimized by identity theft are being forced to wait over a year and a half, on average, to have their issues resolved and get refunds.

“If it weren’t for the significant number of challenges affecting larger groups of taxpayers, this would be headline news, and it should be,” National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins wrote in the report. “Many taxpayers depend on their tax refunds to meet their living expenses, particularly low-income taxpayers.”


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