How many times have you heard someone say they’ll use their tax refund to pay off debts or make a purchase? What if the tax refund never comes? That is too often the case as tax fraud schemes divert funds from taxpayers in Miami and throughout the country. The schemes are so common that even U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the highest official in the country appointed to regulate tax fraud, has been a victim.
Federal authorities recently charged 25 South Florida people with criminal acts of identity theft and tax fraud. The suspected offenders allegedly stole close to 14,000 identities to file fraudulent income tax-returns in their names. The IRS paid $9.5 million to the suspects as a result of the fraudulently filed returns. In the last two years, the U.S. attorney’s office has prosecuted hundreds of people accused of stealing nearly 90,000 identities in attempts to commit acts of tax fraud.
A man was recently investigated for allegedly running a jewelry-investment scam that federal documents say added up to $45 million. The man eventually pleaded guilty to the crimes alleged. CBS4 reported that in order to reduce the 10-year prison term that he was facing, the man agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in a related case.
Whether a Miami resident is the type that files early to get the task out of the way, drags his or her feet until just before the deadline or simply gets those returns signed in a reasonable amount of time, tax season is here. Taxpayers and preparers aren’t the only ones that pay a little more attention to tax laws during this period each year.
South Florida is greatly affected by events in the surrounding region. There is of course a long history of this. The most prominent example is still probably the migration of many Cubans to the Miami area decades ago in the wake of that country's revolution.
In part one of this post, we began discussing how authorities in South Florida have responded to concerns about tax refund fraud facilitated by identity theft.
The ongoing efforts by state and federal authorities to crack down on tax fraud based on identity theft in Florida are one of the key themes of this blog.
Charitable deductions and criminal tax investigations do not often go together.
We've written a lot in this blog about criminal tax fraud linked to identity theft. Our attention to the issue reflects its prominence in South Florida.
In the first part of this post, we discussed how the IRS is making a concerted effort to empower its Criminal Investigations (CI) department to carry out aggressive investigations of suspected criminal tax violations.