Monday, March 9, 2015

A simple answer to a complex problem

Recently there have been many data breaches resulting in a new form of identity theft:  Tax identity theft.  For the Archdiocese of Portland, this recently (in the last two tax years) hit people who had child protection background checks, and I just recently found out, Knights of Columbus Councils have now also been hit.

Stealing just one number, the TIN (taxpayer identification number, usually the social security number or employer identification number) allows a thief to file a false tax return with the IRS, and usually pocket whatever refund they can before it is discovered, especially if done early in the tax season.

Which forces the real owner of the TIN to file on paper and waste all kinds of time to work around the affidavits and law enforcement notifications.

I have an easy solution.  Let taxpayers investigate the matter themselves.  Allow any taxpayer the ability to, with the affidavit form, pull all filings for the past 10 years under their TIN.  They can then use this information to swear out complaints and get local law enforcement involved.  Or if local law enforcement can't be bothered, perhaps put a real damper on the whole process by allowing vigilante justice.

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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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