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The IRS has expanded its Law Enforcement Assistance Program, which helps law enforcement get tax return data to investigate specific cases of identity theft. The program now operates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

IRS Expands Identity Theft Assistance to all 50 States

  • 4/3/2013

IRS Expands Identity Theft Assistance to all 50 States

The IRS has expanded its program that helps law enforcement obtain tax return data vital to its efforts in investigating and prosecuting specific cases of identity theft. The Law Enforcement Assistance Program will now operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“The results of the pilot illustrate that this works as an innovative tool for law enforcement to help pursue tough identity theft situations,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller. “This program is an effective way for law enforcement to work with the IRS to pursue identity thieves and protect taxpayers. Expanding the program and making it permanent on a nationwide basis makes sense for victims as well as law enforcement and tax administration.”

Under the program, state and local law enforcement officials with evidence of identity theft involving fraudulently filed federal tax returns obtain permission from the victim using a special IRS disclosure form. The form is submitted to the Criminal Investigation (CI) Division of the IRS, along with a copy of the police report and the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit. It is important that identity theft victims still submit the original copy of the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit to the IRS according to the instructions on the back of the form that fit their specific circumstances.

The IRS will process the disclosure forms received and forward the documentation to the law enforcement officer who requested the documents. The documents will not be sent directly to the taxpayer. However, the IRS will continue to work directly with taxpayers to resolve their tax accounts as quickly as possible. Law enforcement interested in working with the IRS should contact their local IRS Criminal Investigation field office.

The IRS also announced continued progress in several areas involving identity theft, including resolution of more victim cases and continued emphasis on criminal investigations. Since the start of 2013, the IRS has worked with victims to resolve and close more than 200,000 cases. In addition, the IRS has expanded the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) pilot program, an initiative to protect victims with previously confirmed cases of identity theft by creating an additional layer of security on these accounts. The IRS issued more than 770,000 IP PINs to identity theft victims at the start of this tax filing season. Since October, there have been more than 670 criminal identity theft investigations opened. The criminals being sentenced are spending an average of four years in custody with sentences as long as 20 years.

“The IRS continues to aggressively work identity theft issues on multiple fronts, focusing on helping victims of this terrible crime and pursuing the perpetrators across the nation,” Miller said. “The pilot expansion will help these efforts.”

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