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IRS Conducts Identity Theft Sweep

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) — The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday refunds to some early U.S. tax filers may be delayed in a bid to crack down on identity theft and refund fraud.

Last week, the IRS and the Justice Department conducted a nationwide sweep that resulted in 58 arrests.

The IRS said it has stepped up internal reviews to spot false tax returns before the refunds are issued.

“These efforts includes designing new identity theft screening filters that will improve the IRS’ ability to spot false returns before they are processed and before a refund is issued, as well as expanded efforts to place identity theft indicators on taxpayer accounts to track and manage identity theft incidents,” the IRS said in a release.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman called it an “unprecedented effort” that “sends a strong, unmistakable message to anyone considering participating in a refund fraud scheme this tax season.”

Last week’s nationwide sweep targeted 105 people in 23 states, the IRS said.

In addition to the numerous indictments and arrests, the IRS sent auditors to 150 check-cashing businesses last week to investigate their possible role in identity theft and refund fraud.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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