State Needs To Go After Cyber Tax Cheats

The state needs to step up its investment in hardware and software to recover funds from cyber tax cheats who are denying Connecticut needed revenue during difficult times.
The Day of New London says in an editorial, “As part of its recent deficit-elimination plan for the current fiscal year, the General Assembly set a goal of blocking enough fraudulent returns to save $8.5 million by June 30, the end of the fiscal year. The Department of Revenue Services is seeking $500,000 to purchase the new computer hardware it says it needs to improve income tax screenings and better identify deceptive claims.”
It then adds, “Government must keep up technologically with the crooks. Using stolen information to create false identities, cyber criminals receive bogus refunds. The identity thefts also create nightmares for the victims when they file legitimate returns. [It is] estimated a successful crackdown on fraud could save $10 million annually.”
There’s a disturbing trend amongst tax thieves. According to the editorial, they target dead people through obituaries and claim tax refunds due them before the state gets word the taxpayer is deceased.
Of course, common sense helps reduce fraud, too. The editorial stated, “In addition to using more sophisticated equipment, the state expects a public education program will encourage citizens to take steps that will make them less likely to become victims. These include filing tax returns early, particularly if there has been a family death; shredding paperwork with personal information; and never giving out personal information over the phone.”
 

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