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Tax ID theft victims waiting 2 years for refunds

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Waiting on your Internal Revenue Service tax refund is frustrating. In most instances, though, the issues that slowed the tax refund are resolved and the money is issued in a relatively reasonable amount of time.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the hundreds of thousands of filers whose personal information was used by identity thieves trying to intercept the real taxpayers’ refunds.

Not only must they go through the process of alerting the IRS of the stolen identity and fraudulent refund claim, their wait for their rightful refunds takes much, much longer. In some instances, two years.

Yes. You read that right. Two years.

Taxpayer Advocate Service timing alert: That delay warning was issued recently by the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve problems and recommends changes that will prevent problems.

“Taxpayers should brace themselves for delays, Long delays,” wrote National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Erin M. Collins in a post at the NTA blog.

After receiving confirmation from the IRS that the agency has received the taxpayer’s required paperwork to set the ID theft investigation into motion, Collins noted that “the taxpayer may not hear from the IRS again for many, many months.”

“Taxpayers should know it is taking the IRS about 22 months, on average, to work Identity Theft Victim Assistance (IDTVA) cases,” added the NTA.

ID theft case closures up, but processing delays persist: The one big of good news about tax refund related identity theft is that the IRS appears to have increased the number of closed cases, wrote Collins.

“However, this increase in case closures has not yet affected processing times, as they have increased by about 119 days since the end of FY 2023,” she added.

Collins pointed out that in her 2023 Annual Report to Congress, IRS processing times for resolving IDTVA cases as of the end of fiscal year (FY) 2023 was 556 days, nearly 19 months. But as of April 2024, this processing time has jumped to 675 days.

Collins also discussed in her post some suggestions as to how the IRS can resolve this ID theft tax refund delay problem. She also notes the process that taxpayers must use to report to the IRS that they are victims of identity theft.

All this information about stolen tax identities and associated delays in get refunds to their rightful taxpayers earns the NTA blog post, “Identity Theft Victims Are Waiting Nearly Two Years to Receive Their Tax Refunds,” this weekend’s Saturday Shout Out.

If you prefer to get the info visually, check out the NTA’s YouTube video on ID theft tax refund delays, embedded below.

 

You also might find these items of interest:

 

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