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1040nr 2011 Publication 463 - Additional Material Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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IRS Combats Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts

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ID Theft: IRS Efforts on Identity Theft

FS-2014-1, January 2014

Stopping identity theft and refund fraud is a top priority for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The agency’s work on identity theft and refund fraud continues to grow, touching nearly every part of the organization. For the 2014 filing season, the IRS has expanded these efforts to better protect taxpayers and help victims.

The IRS assigned more than 3,000 IRS employees to work on identity theft-related issues. IRS employees are working to prevent refund fraud, investigate identity theft-related crimes and help taxpayers who have been victimized by identity thieves. In addition, the IRS provides training to more than 35,000 employees who work with taxpayers to recognize identity theft indicators and help people victimized by identity theft.

Refund Fraud Detection and Prevention

The IRS continues to increase its efforts against refund fraud, which includes identity theft. As a result of these aggressive efforts to combat identity theft from 2011 through November 2013, the IRS has stopped 14.6 million suspicious returns, and protected over $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.

For 2014, the IRS will continue to increase both the number and efficiency of the identity theft filters that are used to identify potentially fraudulent returns due to identity theft prior to the processing of the return and release of any refund. 

In Fiscal Year 2013, the IRS initiated 1,492 identity theft related criminal investigations, an increase of 66 percent over investigations initiated in FY 2012. Indictments and sentencing doubled in FY 2013 and the average prison term was more than three years (38 months) – the longest sentenced being 26 years.   

Increasing Efforts to Help Victims

The IRS understands that identity theft is a frustrating, complex process for victims. While identity thieves steal information from sources outside the tax system, the IRS is often the first to inform a victim that identity theft has occurred. The IRS is working hard to resolve identity theft cases as quickly as possible.  We are also developing programs and information to protect the taxpayer from future misuse of their personal information impacting their tax administration and minimize the impact outside of IRS.

While the IRS has made considerable progress in this area, more work remains. Fighting identity theft is an ongoing battle as identity thieves continue to create new ways of stealing personal information and using it for their gain. Identity theft cases are among the most complex handled by the IRS. The IRS is continually reviewing processes and policies to minimize the incidence of identity theft and to help those who find themselves victimized. Among the steps underway to help victims:

  • IP PIN expansion. The IRS Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a unique six digit number that is assigned annually to victims of identity theft for use when filing their federal tax return that shows that a particular taxpayer is the rightful filer of the return. For the upcoming tax year 2013 filing season, the IRS expects to provide more than 1.2 million taxpayers with an IP PIN. For the second tax season in a row, the number of IP PINs has nearly doubled from the year before. The IP PIN will allow these individuals to avoid delays in filing returns and receiving refunds.
  • IP PIN Changes:
    • If an IP PIN is assigned to a taxpayer for their 2013 return, the IP PIN must be used on any delinquent 2011 and 2012 returns filed during the 2014 calendar year.
    • IRS is exploring the use of an online process through that will allow taxpayers who have an IP PIN requirement and lose their IP PIN to create an account and receive their original IP PIN online. 
  • Victim case resolution:  The IRS continues to dedicate more and more employees to resolution of victim cases. These are extremely complex cases to resolve, frequently touching on multiple issues and multiple tax years. Cases of resolving identity theft can be complicated by the thieves themselves contacting the IRS. The IRS is working hard to streamline its internal process, but much more work remains. A typical case can take 180 days to resolve, and the IRS is working to reduce that time period.
  • Service options. The IRS is providing information in several ways ranging from a special section on devoted to identity theft to a special phone number available for victims to obtain assistance and resource information for resolving tax issues. The IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit is available at 1-800-908-4490.
  • More information is available on, including the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.

IRS Criminal Investigation

In FY 2013, the IRS initiated 1,492 identity theft related criminal investigations, an increase of 66% over investigations initiated in FY 2012. Indictments and sentencing doubled in FY 2013 and the average prison term was more than three years (38 months).

In January 2013, the IRS conducted a coordinated and highly successful identity theft enforcement sweep.  The coast-to-coast effort against identity theft suspects led to 734 enforcement actions, including 298 indictments, informations, complaints and arrests.

The Law Enforcement Assistance Program, formerly known as the Identity Theft Pilot Disclosure Program, was expanded nationwide.  This program provides for the disclosure of federal tax return information associated with the accounts of known and suspected victims of identity theft with the express written consent of those victims.  There are currently more than 300 state/local law enforcement agencies from 35 states participating.  For FY 2013, more than 2,400 requests were received from state and local law enforcement agencies.

The Identity Theft Clearinghouse (ITC) continues to develop and refer identity theft refund fraud schemes to Criminal Investigation (CI) Field Offices for investigation.  For FY 2013, the ITC received over 1,400 identity theft related leads.  Those leads related to more than 391,000 tax returns claiming in excess of $1.3 billion dollars in potentially fraudulent federal income tax refunds. 

CI continues to be the lead agency or actively involved in more than 30 multi-regional task forces or working groups including state/local and federal law enforcement agencies solely focusing on identity theft.     

For more information, see the special identity theft section on and IRS Fact Sheet 2014-2, Tips for Taxpayers and Victims about Identity Theft and Tax Returns.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 07-Jan-2014

The 1040nr 2011

1040nr 2011 Publication 556 - Introductory Material Table of Contents The IRS Mission Reminders IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. 1040nr 2011 Tax questions. 1040nr 2011 Useful Items - You may want to see: The IRS Mission Provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all. 1040nr 2011 Reminders Penalty for filing erroneous claim for refund or credit. 1040nr 2011  You may have to pay a penalty if you file an erroneous claim for refund or credit. 1040nr 2011 See Penalty for erroneous claim for refund, later under Claims for Refund. 1040nr 2011 Interest and penalties suspended if notice not mailed within 36 months. 1040nr 2011  If you file your return timely (including extensions), interest and certain penalties will be suspended if the IRS does not mail a notice to you within 36 months. 1040nr 2011 See Suspension of interest and penalties, later under Examination of Returns. 1040nr 2011 Fast track mediation. 1040nr 2011  The IRS offers fast track mediation services to help taxpayers resolve many disputes resulting from: Examinations (audits), Offers in compromise, Trust fund recovery penalties, and Other collection actions. 1040nr 2011 See Fast track mediation under If You Do Not Agree. 1040nr 2011 Introduction The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accepts most federal tax returns as filed. 1040nr 2011 However, the IRS examines (or audits) some returns to determine if income, expenses, and credits are being reported accurately. 1040nr 2011 If your return is selected for examination, it does not suggest that you made an error or are dishonest. 1040nr 2011 Returns are chosen by computerized screening, by random sample, or by an income document matching program. 1040nr 2011 See Examination selection criteria, later. 1040nr 2011 You should also know that many examinations result in a refund or acceptance of the tax return without change. 1040nr 2011 This publication discusses general rules and procedures that the IRS follows in examinations. 1040nr 2011 It explains what happens during an examination and your appeal rights, both within the IRS and in the federal court system. 1040nr 2011 It also explains how to file a claim for refund of tax you already paid. 1040nr 2011 As a taxpayer, you have the right to be treated fairly, professionally, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees. 1040nr 2011 Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, explains your rights when dealing with the IRS. 1040nr 2011 Comments and suggestions. 1040nr 2011   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. 1040nr 2011   You can write to us at the following address:  Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. 1040nr 2011 NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. 1040nr 2011 Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. 1040nr 2011   You can send your comments from www. 1040nr 2011 irs. 1040nr 2011 gov/formspubs/. 1040nr 2011 Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. 1040nr 2011 ”   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. 1040nr 2011 Ordering forms and publications. 1040nr 2011   Visit www. 1040nr 2011 irs. 1040nr 2011 gov/formspubs to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. 1040nr 2011  Internal Revenue Service  1201 N. 1040nr 2011 Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61704-6613 Tax questions. 1040nr 2011   If you have a tax question, check the information available on www. 1040nr 2011 irs. 1040nr 2011 gov or call 1-800-829-1040. 1040nr 2011 We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. 1040nr 2011 Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 1 Your Rights as a Taxpayer 5 Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If You Don't Agree 547 Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts 594 The IRS Collection Process 910 Guide to Free Tax Services 971 Innocent Spouse Relief 1546 Taxpayer Advocate Service–Your Voice at the IRS 1660 Collection Appeal Rights 3605 Fast Track Mediation 3920 Tax Relief for Victims of Terrorist Attacks 4134 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List Form (and Instructions) 843 Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement 911 Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order) 1040X Amended U. 1040nr 2011 S. 1040nr 2011 Individual Income Tax Return 2848 Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative 4506 Request for Copy of Tax Return 4506-T Request for Transcript of Tax Return 8379 Injured Spouse Allocation 8857 Request for Innocent Spouse Relief See How To Get Tax Help , near the end of this publication, for information about getting these publications and forms. 1040nr 2011 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications