Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

IRS Inspector General Warns of Alarming Rate of Identity Theft

Criminals are continuing to file falsified tax returns using other people’s identities to receive tax refunds, Russell George, the inspector general for the Internal Revenue Service, told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee.

“Unscrupulous individuals are stealing identities at an alarming rate,” he said today in Washington.

George cited IRS data showing that in 2011, the agency detected about 940,000 tax returns involving identity theft and stopped $6.5 billion in refunds from being issued. The total amount of identity theft is larger than that and unknown.

There is a fundamental tension between the IRS’s goals of processing tax returns quickly and stopping fraud, said Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate.

“There is no way around these tradeoffs,” said Olson, who runs an independent taxpayer service department within the IRS.

Steven Miller, deputy commissioner of the IRS, told the House panel that the agency has made progress on identity theft. This year, he said, about 250,000 taxpayers who had identity theft cases from prior years received personal identification numbers that authenticate their identity to the IRS.

“We are not done but we have made real progress in the area,” he said.

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.