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Robert Trigaux

To fight tax refund fraud, IRS may launch pilot program to share information in Tampa




Kelly Curtis, widow of a slain Tampa police officer and the mother of four sons, was a victim of tax refund fraud and identity theft. Photo: Tampa Bay Times' Edmund D. Fountain, 2010.

Wake up and good morning. Let's follow up on yesterday's blog posting about the Senate subcommittee hearing on tax refund fraud and identity theft because there is some news to share. A senior IRS official testified the federal tax agency is considering a pilot program in Tampa to share more information with the police.

"We are limited in what we can supply to local law enforcement," said Steven Miller, deputy IRS commissioner for services and enforcement." But under this program, fraudulent tax information could be shared with the local police with the permission of the victimized taxpayer. No date has been set for the Tampa pilot program, Reuters reports here.

This comes on top of yesterday's Venture blog posting noting the planned testimony of Tampa police detective Sal Augeri (watch Fox TV video coverage of his testimony) and in addition to Tampa Bay Times coverage of the tax refund fraud encountered by Kelly Curtis (photo, above), the widow of slain Tampa police officer David Curtis. When she tried to file her taxes electronically, they were rejected because someone had stolen her husband's ID and already filed for a tax refund.

A key weakness, noted by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, who chaired Tuesday's hearing on Capitol Hill, is the government policy that allows the posting of deceased people's Social Security numbers on the Internet. Nelson's bill to strengthen penalties against tax fraud is stalled. Read more here.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times






[Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 7:11am]


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