The IRS and its Security Summit partners finalized plans on November 3, 2016, to improve identity theft protections in 2017 after the significant success of its 2016 program (and in spite of a growing number of scams). In the first nine months of the current year, identity theft victim claims dropped 50 percent, as compared to 2015. The number of fraudulent returns stopped by the IRS’ tax processing systems increased, derailing 787,000 attempts at identity theft return filing, and stopping nearly $600 million more in fraudulent refunds from being paid out to scammers as compared to the previous year.
“We’ve come a long way in a short time following the creation of the Security Summit,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “But much work remains to be done.”
Plans for 2017 focus on expanding the data elements shared by the tax industry with the IRS during submission of individual and business tax returns. Twenty states are working with the financial services industry to create state-level versions of the federal program. The Summit will also release new features to enhance software security requirements and identity verification.
Education campaigns to “increase awareness about data security” will also grow. For updates and additional information, click here.