Taxpayers in Tampa and around Florida are frustrated by the lack of service that they receive at local IRS offices. Many taxpayers have found that their identities have been stolen and that people have already filed for refunds in their name. This is despite the fact that the tax season is only a few weeks old and the IRS said that it implemented new identity theft protection and criminal tax fraud measures.
What's worse is that many taxpayers find themselves on the wrong side of an audit because someone stole their identity. Many taxpayers have expressed frustration at the red tape and delays associated with the IRS' feeble attempts to separate tax evasion and tax fraud cases from the legitimate claims of identity theft victims.
One young couple recently stood outside of the Tampa IRS office at 6 a.m. to wait in line for its 8:30 a.m. opening.
"If you don't get here at six there's so many people, they don't let you in," the young father said.
The couple discovered that they were identity theft victims when they went to a tax preparer earlier this tax season.
It appears that help for this and other couples will be slow in coming. The IRS announced a crackdown on tax fraud cases, but over half of the cases that it is focusing on happened before 2010. Tampa police say that the tax fraud situation has gotten out of control and question just how effective the IRS is in protecting taxpayers. Those who face audits or tax evasion charges due to identity theft should contact an experienced Florida tax attorney who can best represent their interests in front of the IRS. Dealing with the IRS alone can result in long delays and frustration.
Source: TBO, "Rampant identity theft, tax fraud frustrates Tampa police," Feb. 13, 2012