Full House

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20935089 - bank teller's hands counting dollar banknotes on the table

There are days in this business that make me just want to curl up in the tiny space underneath my desk and cry. This is one of them. According to today’s ”Fraud of the Day” from The Huffington Post, 741 tax returns were filed to the federal government from a single address. But wait, there’s more! The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) then proceeded to issue over $1 million in combined refunds to that household.

It’s not surprising that this sort of shenanigan was pulled off in Florida, which – according to the article – just so happens to be where three out of the five U.S. addresses are located that filed the greatest number of tax returns in 2010. (I’m going under the desk! You can’t stop me!)

Because scams like this are growing more common, it’s getting harder for law-abiding taxpayers to get refunds that actually belong to them. Not only that, but the article reports that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration estimates the agency will send out $21 billion in refunds to criminals in the next five years. (I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.)

And perhaps the idea of stealing from the government is daunting to most, but apparently some guy managed to do it from a jail cell with a typewriter. (A typewriter?! Really guys?! I’ll be under my desk.) Isn’t it time we started using identity management tools to start checking identities before we send the checks?

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article titled ”741 Tax Returns Filed from Single Florida Address, IRS Sent Back Over $1 Million in Refunds,” written by Alexander Eichler and published by The Huffington Post on August 11, 2012.

Either one particular home in South Florida is really, really crowded, or there’s something shady going on.

In 2010, 741 tax returns were filed to the federal government from a single address in Belle Glade, Fla., the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. In response, the Internal Revenue Service issued over $1 million in combined tax refunds to that address, which is, y’know, embarrassing.

 

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.