IRS see big drop in identity theft, stolen tax refunds - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

IRS see big drop in identity theft, stolen tax refunds

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By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The IRS says it is seeing a big drop in the number of tax refunds being stolen by identity thieves after the agency teamed up with tax preparers to fight the problem.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday that the number of victims was nearly cut in half last year, compared to the previous year.

At the same time, he said, more businesses are being targeted.

In 2015, identity thieves stole nearly 700,000 fraudulent tax refunds from the IRS. Last year, the number dropped to 377,000.

Koskinen said thieves have stolen 107,000 refunds in the first five months of this year.

Identity thieves steal refunds by obtaining private information from victims, and using it to file fraudulent tax returns in their name.

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