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Friday December 2, 2016

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Tax Refund Scam Calls Down 90%

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported good news on the federal government's efforts to combat tax fraud.

On October 27, the US published indictments for more than 50 persons operating five call centers in Ahmedabad, India. The US government claimed that these call centers were a massive effort to engage in fraud by impersonating IRS agents.

TIGTA Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Timothy Camus reported an October 4 raid by Indian police on another call center in Mumbai, India. As a result of the actions in both Ahmedabad and Mumbai, there has been a dramatic decline in reports of attempted tax refund fraud.

Prior to the October indictment, TIGTA was receiving 38,000 reports of IRS impersonation calls each week. Since the indictment, the calls have declined over 90% and last week taxpayers reported 2,000 IRS impersonation calls.

Since 2013, TIGTA has received over 1.8 million reports of scams attempting to fleece American taxpayers. There have been nearly 10,000 victims of these scams. The total losses of these taxpayers are in excess of $53 million.

Editor's Note: The IRS and Treasury Department have been working diligently to reduce the number of victims of IRS impersonators. With the closure of the major call centers in India, the numbers are reduced, but taxpayers should still be on guard. The IRS does not call people and demand immediate payment.

Published November 25, 2016
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