The Nation

Jun 1, 2011 6:02 PM by Greg Boyce

Government warns of tax return theft

WASHINGTON (AP) - Imagine filing your tax return and learning that someone else got your refund. Someone using your name and Social Security number.

It's happening a lot more often these days. A government report finds that instances of taxpayer identity theft have increased nearly five-fold over the past few years. There were nearly 250,000 incidents last year.

After learning they have been victimized, taxpayers must then wait for the IRS to determine which filing was legitimate. However, once fraud is discovered, the agency marks the account and carefully screens future submissions.

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