IRS prevented the issuance of $22.2 million in fraudulent refunds for year 2017-2018.
The IRS continues to expand its efforts to detect tax refund fraud. As of February 24, 2018, the IRS reported that it identified 9,557 tax returns with approximately $46 million claimed in fraudulent refunds and prevented the issuance of $22.2 million (48.3 percent) in fraudulent refunds. In addition, the IRS reports that it prevented approximately 7,376 fraudulent electronically filed tax returns as of February 28, 2018, and 1,442 paper-filed tax returns as of March 15, 2018, from being accepted into the processing system. Also, the IRS identified and confirmed 2,204 fraudulent tax returns involving identity theft as of February 28, 2018, and identified 13,964 prisoner tax returns for screening as of February 24, 2018.
There is also a decrease in the number of fraudulent tax refunds the IRS detects and stops which is attributable to the IRS’s efforts to expand processes to prevent fraudulent tax returns from ever entering the tax processing system, i.e., rejecting e-filed tax returns and preventing paper-filed tax returns from posting. For example, as of February 21, 2018, the IRS had locked approximately 35.7 million taxpayer accounts of deceased individuals.