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March 29, 2016

Behind the tax scam numbers
By Bernie Becker

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who once led the Finance Committee, sent out a letter recently that might have raised a few eyebrows — essentially wondering why federal authorities were prosecuting astonishingly few tax scammers. Why would that be a surprise? For one thing, the IRS has made battling identity theft a top priority, and has even circulated releases extolling its top 10 identity theft prosecutions. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which compiles a plethora of government data, also said in a report a couple years back that the greatest increase in IRS criminal prosecutions over fiscal 2013 was under the statute for “fraud and related activity — ID documents.” Those prosecutions rose 580 percent over that one year, and a full 7,550 percent over five years.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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