TAX FRAUD AWARENESS
The 2015 tax return season begins on January 19, 2016 and the IRS expects an even greater increase in tax frauds for the 2015 filing year. The City of Chesterfield alone had 724 Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) cases last year and the department anticipates similar numbers this year. Surrounding agencies are similarly plagued with this fraud.
The Chesterfield Police Department will continue to assist citizens in the documentation of tax frauds. This effort will include the provision of the following documents to victims.
- A Tri-fold flyer titled “Tax Return Fraud” which contains the information and website link that victim’s must use to file an IRS
“Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit”.
- An IRS “Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers” (publication 5027 Rev. 12-2015) information sheet. This IRS document contains the information and websites to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit records through one of the three major credit bureaus. It also contains other information explaining what Tax-related identity theft is and how to reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
If our department is able to develop viable leads or the suspect can be identified (i.e. family member using other family members ID or suspect forgets and uses his real address) then officers will conduct a full investigation.
If you receive a Green Dot Card or Treasury Check that you did not expect, per the IRS, do not check the balance on the item. The Officer will collect the card or check and enter it into evidence.
PREVENTION: Filing your taxes early is the best prevention to not becoming a victim of tax fraud. You can also enlist one of the credit bureaus in placing an alert on your credit to stop would be identity thieves before they act.